Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
10 Jun 2018
3:21 pm

I got my tactics wrong, admits Rassie Erasmus

Rudolph Jacobs

The Springboks might have launched one of the best comebacks in their history but they certainly looked directionless at the start of the Ellis Park epic.

Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Gallo Images.

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said he takes the blame on himself after the Springboks’ disastrous start in last weekend’s first England Test at Ellis Park.

Before a big crowd of 55 610 could even settle into their seats, the Boks were trailing 3-24, but produced a massive fightback to win a pulsating contest 42-39.

ALSO READ: Springbok player ratings: Day of the debutants

“When they named three flyhalves in their backline, I honestly thought they would kick a lot. Instead, they gave the ball a lot of air and ran hard at us. It was a tactical error on my side,”  admitted Erasmus.

“I think we regrouped well to change our tactics. We probably didn’t have enough width, but congratulations to the senior players, who responded well.

“We definitely have to fix that defence though.”

Erasmus didn’t react defensively when told that English counterpart Eddie Jones had said the “Boks used their get-out-of-jail-free card”.

“They probably could’ve put us away in those early few minutes but at the same time we could’ve put them away in that second half,” he said.

“It was not the start we wanted with a lot of youngsters in the side and if we got 50 against us we could’ve started to doubt team selections, but we’ll have to be bold in making calls and we probably will lose some games along the way,” he said.

Meanwhile,  Jones was full of praise for the two new Bok wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and S’bu Nkosi, who scored three tries between them.

“Those two wingers will give Usain Bolt a run for his money,” he said.

Team management on Sunday confirmed that six players – Kwagga Smith, Jason Jenkins, Curwin Bosch, Travis Ismaiel, Ox Nche, Nizaam Carr and Cameron Wright – had been released back to their respective Super Rugby franchises.

Bulls prop Trevor Nyakane, who was named in the starting line-up Ellis Park but withdrew, has been ruled out for the rest of the series with a rib injury.