The Springboks can still retain the Rugby World Cup, says Nienaber

The Springboks can still retain the Rugby World Cup, says Nienaber

South Africa coach Jacques Nienaber conceded his side were second best against Ireland in their epic Pool B clash on Saturday, but insists they can still retain the Rugby World Cup.

The Springboks went down 13-8 to the world number one Irish side in a pulsating affair at the Stade de France. The world champions came agonisingly close to snatching victory at the death, but it was not enough against an Ireland team that was superlative on defence.

South Africa, who recovered from losing to New Zealand in their opening match at the 2019 Rugby World Cup to claim the title, take on Tonga next weekend. When asked about defending their title, Nienaber was quick to remind everyone they are still very much in the running.

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"Ja, we can still [win the tournament]... obviously you have to believe we're in this competition to win it," said Nienaber.

"Teams that lose a game in the pool stages must work hard to get out of the pool, so definitely we can still win it.

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"We played against the number one team in the world and we lost by five points and we had opportunity in the 79th minute to get a result. Hats off to Ireland, they were better than us on the night and that is the bottom line

"But that's the number one team in the world - and we're the number two team in the world - and the margin is very small.

"We will have to work harder at the stuff that we weren't good at. If we can fix that and we have a little bit of luck, we can win the World Cup."

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