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Du Plessis: No hard feelings, no grudges

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Sportal.co.nz     22 Sep 2013     Getty Images

As South Africa ready to host Australia, and New Zealand prepare to meet Argentina, thoughts are already turning to the potential series final at Ellis Park on the following Saturday.

Du Plessis told The Star (Johannesburg): "The reaction of world rugby has been extensive and with so much emotions (sic) being part of the game and part of being a rugby spectator it is understandable.

"It needs to be mentioned though that I am in no position to criticise anyone.

"I do not expect an apology.

"I have no doubt that Mr Poite had no ill intentions towards the Springboks or me. It much have been a great occasion for him to have been awarded a Test match views as arguably the greatest clash in world rugby.

"The commentary in the media must have an immense impact on him. I feel sorry for him and I do not want him banished from the rugby fraternity or to be viewed as a 'villain'. I bear no grudges against him and I have no doubt that he tried his best out there on the field," he said.

Du Plessis said he was surprised at the yellow card call when he tackled All Blacks first five-eighths Dan Carter.

He said it was any forward's dream was to make a big hit on the opposition five-eighths.

"Dan Carter is one of the greatest players that ever set foot on a rugby field. Part of being a world-class 10 is to be elusive and not to be trapped with the ball in hand."

Du Plessis said he thought the tackle was legal in all aspects and he hadn't reviewed it because he knew it was not high, late or dangerous.

"I have been informed that I was offside, so from that perspective the tackle was not perfect. But I obviously did not think I was offside in the moment and in my own mind executed a legal tackle," he said.

Du Plessis was also surprised by the second yellow card for the elbow into Liam Messam's throat.

He said he spent his time while off with the first yellow card praying he hadn't let the country down.

"After the second yellow card I realised that a virtually impossible takes would await on the team. It is difficult enough to beat the All Blacks with 15 men on the pitch for a full 80 minutes.

"I still feel that I let the team down and objectively viewed I did."

Du Plessis said he could not describe his disappointment.