The shock loss to the Springboks at the weekend has really hurt the All Blacks, considering all that was on the line and will take some time to get over, says lock Ali Williams.
Williams told the NZPA that the sting of the weekend’s shock loss to the Springboks will burn for some time. The All Blacks were annoyed they let numerous chances slip for what would have been an unconvincing victory, yet one which sealed their fourth unbeaten Tri Nations (after 1996, 1997 and 2003), their 16th Test win in a row and New Zealand’s second series win in South Africa after 1996.
The defeat would hurt at least until they embark on their end of year tour to England, France and Wales. “If you looked out there a lot of boys were not happy. Individually we probably didn’t play as well as what we wanted to, and collectively we didn’t apply what we wanted to,” he said.
“It’ll definitely burn away for a while. The chance for us is to prove ourselves again and make it into the team for the end of year tour.”
“The preparation was right, but the team that wanted it, won. There was a penalty right at the last minute, a few knock-ons, an intercept, it could gone either way to be honest.”
He insisted the lineouts weren’t at crisis point, despite the All Blacks losing plenty of their own throws with one lineout blunder leading to Pedrie Wannenburg’s crucial second half try.
“Generally we got our ball, we didn’t get that one on the line which was pretty frustrating,” Williams said. “You can’t expect to get 100 % all the time. A lot comes off a lineout, more than you think, it’s not all about winning your ball. We’ll learn from it and move on.”