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Published: 23:44 | 13/11/17

Coetzee denies "heated" meeting with SA Rugby chief


South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee denies he had a "heated" meeting with SA Rugby president Mark Alexander after the Springboks' 38-3 defeat to Ireland on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt's side ran in four tries at the Aviva Stadium as Ireland recorded their biggest winning margin over South Africa, and condemned the Boks to a fifth consecutive November Test defeat since 2014.

Coetzee acknowledges he spoke to Alexander after the game, but insists the meeting was "productive" and focused on playing matters.

"Let me put this meeting into context‚" he said.

"It was actually a very productive meeting. Everyone is obviously disappointed after a game.

"We spoke about how we are going to turn it around‚ the next week.

"I don't know your source or where you get that from.

"Make sure with him‚ it is definitely not the case.

"We had a chat about personnel‚ the plan and just keeping him up to date about how we prepared. It was a really productive meeting.

"It was definitely not heated. Guys‚ you know me. I don't mince my words either and if it was heated I would have told you."

Coetzee insists his young side can bounce back to beat France at the Stade de France on Saturday, a match which is live on eir Sport 2 [kick off 8pm].

The Springboks whitewashed France in a three-Test series in June, and were narrowly beaten 25-24 by world champions New Zealand in Cape Town in their final game of this year's Rugby Championship on 7 October, just three weeks after losing 57-0 to the All Blacks at North Harbour Stadium.

Saturday's defeat to Ireland was just South Africa's third in ten Test matches in 2017, and Coetzee insists his young team can get back to winning ways against Guy Noves' side in Paris on Saturday.

"We have faced this before. We came back from 57-0," Coetzee continued.

"It's about taking responsibility each and every one. It is not easy. We've got to put that behind us.

"This is a good young South African side. If given the opportunity they will learn from this and they will get better.

"I've seen this movie before. A team goes through a lot of struggles and a learning phase and all of a sudden things click. They gel and they start winning.

"The players know they have to hang in there."

eir Sport is the home of international rugby in November. On 18 November, eir Sport subscribers can watch Italy against Argentina at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence [kick off 2pm, eir Sport 2], followed by Scotland versus world champions New Zealand at Murrayfield [kick off 5.15pm, BT Sport 2], and then round off a super Saturday of Test match rugby with France v South Africa at the Stade de France [kick off 8pm, eir Sport 2]

Photo Inpho/ Oisin Keniry

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