Rassie Erasmus isn’t a man known for smugness.
In fact, it’s highly unlikely that one will ever see something like that from him in public.
But the Springbok coach certainly looked visibly chuffed after he was asked about rookie scrumhalf Embrose Papier’s performance against Scotland at the weekend.
There had been mounting pressure for Erasmus to elevate the 21-year-old Bulls halfback, yet the national team mentor insisted they had to manage him.
Let loose at Murrayfield, Papier more than justified his selection.
“I really think that in the case of Embrose, we got it right,” said Erasmus.
“We thought this was the right game for him, on this pitch and the way Scotland play suits him well, and he also handled it very well.”
Papier indeed enjoyed various good moments in broken play, notably his contribution in the build-up to Jesse Kriel’s try.
While his tactical kicking naturally can still be tweaked, the rest of his basics were solid.
Erasmus lauded the contribution of his support staff for executing the management plan for Papier to perfection – at least from his perspective.
“Credit must also go to assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick and Swys de Bruin for the way they’ve blooded him into Test match rugby,” he said.