New Zealand 29-15 South Africa, Rugby Championship
Meyer refrains from criticising referee Romain Poite
ESPN Staff
September 14, 2013
The tackle that ended Dan Carter's game and saw Bismarck du Plessis pick up a yellow card © Getty Images

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer refrained from criticising referee Romain Poite following their controversial 29-15 loss to New Zealand on Saturday.

Poite sin-binned Bismarck du Plessis after his 15th minute tackle on Dan Carter, a hit which has seen the fly-half ruled out for four to six weeks, but there seemed to be little wrong with the hooker's technique. He was then rightly shown a second yellow in the second-half and was also handed his marching orders.

Despite playing 38 minutes of the match with 14 men, Meyer held back from criticising Poite. Meyer said: "We don't have any excuses, we wanted it to be a spectacle.

"I don't think we played that well, but I always thought we had a chance after halftime. They outplayed us for the first 30 minutes, but I really felt there was a momentum shift after that driving maul."

Springboks captain Jean de Villiers followed Meyer's lead but admitted Du Plessis was disappointed with being sent from the field in the first-half. De Villiers said: "He is a very good tackler and I think he executes his tackles very well.

"So he was disappointed that he only played 30 minutes of this game. We're all disappointed, we're disappointed with the results and that hurts. It is what it is and we have to move on and learn from this because at the end of the day, whatever decisions were made we didn't play well tonight.

"Even though we lost on the scoreboard and had 14 men, we didn't play well, we didn't defend well and that's the concerning thing for me."

New Zealand's win sees them move to the top of the Rugby Championship table and cement their status as the number one side in world rugby. But it looks like Carter is set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines after he injured his shoulder in Saturday's game. All Blacks coach Steve Hansen confirmed the news, saying: "I am not sure how long he's going to be out for but he's done an AC and they're usually four to six weeks.

And Hansen was delighted with his team's performance. He added: "It was a really intense test match, one that had a bit of everything and I'm very proud of how we came through it.

"In games like tonight you need the big players to stand up and they did. But so did some of the younger guys which was really pleasing, the experience they'll bank after tonight will be invaluable for us going forward.

"One or two of them may have put to rest the doubters about them, they've certainly got rid of those question marks for those people. I think all New Zealanders can be very proud of their team tonight."

New Zealand defeated South Africa in a tough contest (video available only in Australia)
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