Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Smit rues Tri-Nations defeat

John Smit

John Smit admits it will take a very long time for him to get over Saturday's Tri-Nations defeat to New Zealand in Johannesburg.

The South Africa captain, playing in his 100th Test match for his country, looked to be leading his charges to victory with the world champions 22-17 in front. But two minutes from time opposite number Richie McCaw crossed on the right corner to draw the All Blacks level, before Israel Dagg scored the match-winning try on the left.

It helped Graham Henry's men clinch the title, but the sound of the hooter spelt heartbreak for Smit, who sunk to his knees in anguish. And he said: "It was terribly disappointing as I thought we had done enough to win. I can't think of anything worse than losing your 100th Test by missing a tackle at the death. I'll be disappointed for a very long time."

The defeat was especially hard to take for the 32-year-old after it was his mistake that enabled their opponents to snatch a memorable victory.

After McCaw had put the New Zealanders level with his try, Dan Carter missed the conversion, meaning there was still an outside chance for the hosts to add to the drama.

Smit continued: "I really enjoyed the Test but in the last minute I missed a tackle and we lost the game. It is nothing to be remembered by.

"At 22-all we wanted to get into a good field position so that Morne Steyn could have a go at a drop-goal, but we turned over possession, I missed a crucial tackle and it was game over.

"I can't physically describe how it feels to lose your 100th game because of your own missed tackle."

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