The Boks blundered from one knock-on to the next in going down for the second consecutive time to the Welsh at the Millennium Stadium, and ensured that they set a new SA mark for most defeats in a calendar year.
Yet Coetzee felt afterwards that he is not alone to blame for the mess in which the Boks, and by extension South African rugby, finds itself in.
“I don’t fear anything, to be honest. I think this has really tested my character, it’s tested my faith – it’s tested a lot of things. I don’t feel that… Collectively, we’ve got to understand that it’s not just one person that can take responsibility for that,” Coetzee told the BBC in a post-match TV interview.
“If I’m solely held responsible for that, then I will walk away. I’m not man enough to say that! But there have been a lot of things that have had an impact on the season and one’s got to have a look.
“We’ll have a lot of meetings and discussions going forward, and a lot of challenges for South African rugby going forward. But I think this (game) has just shown that we cannot now just plaster over cracks. We’ve got to fix it from the core.”
The Boks, though, never looked like turning things around in what was captain Adriaan Strauss’ final game in charge before his retirement from Test rugby.
The backline battled to find each other despite flyhalf Elton Jantjies trying a few different things, while the forwards lacked fire in the physical stakes and again conceded a try from a maul.
Coetzee said that the Welsh game could signal the launch of a new era Bok rugby after he made seven changes to the side, but that is hard to believe following Saturday’s lacklustre performance. “It is tough. It is really tough. It is never easy to lose in a Springbok jersey, definitely not. Players understand it, management understand it. Everyone understands that,” the 53-year-old said.
“But this is what the situation is. And hopefully, this is the start of a new beginning for South African rugby. I think this has shown that we do have to lay the foundation properly going forward.
“It is tough, it is definitely tough. And it’s not nice. But like I said, this is not the start this year – it’s come on for a couple of years now.
“We have lost for the first time against Argentinians back home, we’ve lost against Japan, and we’ve lost this year against Italy. So, definitely, there are fundamental problems that we need to address.”
The SA Rugby Union said in a statement on Saturday night that they will conduct a full review of the Bok team and how the sport is run professionally in the country over the next few weeks.
Original source: Allister: Not just one person responsible for Bok problems