Springboks red-faced after Pumas defeat

Johan Erasmus said he was ashamed of his team's showing in the 32-19 loss to Argentina

South Africa coach Johan 'Rassie' Erasmus said Sunday that he was ashamed of his team's showing in the 32-19 Rugby Championship loss to Argentina in Mendoza this weekend.

"It was embarrassing and not the kind of performance you expect to see from the Springboks," he told reporters in the western city at the foothills of the Andes mountains.

"We made only one change to the starting team from last weekend, when we dominated them," Erasmus noted, referring to a 34-21 opening-round victory in Durban.

"The fingers of blame must be pointed at ourselves -- firstly the coaches and then the players -- and we have to fix the problems."

Erasmus said the long flight from Johannesburg to Mendoza via Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires was not an excuse for the second-round setback.

"We travelled a day later than in the past and we outplayed the Pumas in the second half because we were the fresher team."

Former Springbok Erasmus, who succeeded Allister Coetzee this year after South Africa won only 11 of 25 Tests during two seasons, refused to praise any aspect of the performance.

"I am not going to look for positives after a performance like that. We have no excuses to offer.

"We knew exactly what to expect and we prepared accordingly, but we just did not handle the situation."

Skipper Siya Kolisi, who scored the first South African try that gave the visitors an early 7-3 advantage, also offered no excuses.

"We had a bad first half and did not convert our scoring opportunities. We could not chase the game," he said.

South Africa return home Tuesday and the squad will reassemble at the weekend for the toughest part of their campaign -- a two-match tour of Australasia.

The Springboks tackle Australia, hurting after two heavy defeats by New Zealand, on September 8 in Brisbane.

A week later it will be the turn of South Africa to confront the rampant All Blacks, who scored 78 points in home and away triumphs over the Wallabies.

New Zealand have 10 points, South Africa five, Argentina four and Australia are pointless after two rounds of the southern hemisphere championship.