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Monday Jul 18, 2022

Springbok Management Defend Second Test Changes

Springbok Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has defended his sides decision to make wholesale changes throughout their three-test series with Wales.

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Picking up a come from behind win in the first test in Pretoria, the Boks went on to lose the second test in Bloemfontein.

The loss was the first time that South Africa had lost at home in their storied history with Wales.

Bringing with it plenty of criticism from all corners including from former World Cup winning coach Jake White.

Head coach Jacques Nienaber ultimately calm under the most fire for the loss with White’s comments being particularly damning.

“The job of a national coach is to win Test matches. National coaches shouldn’t use Tests to see if players are good enough, that what A-sides or training is for. I don’t know if Nienaber picked that team on his own, he may have discussed it with Rassie and others but you’re not a national coach to learn lessons,” he said.

Erasmus however has confirmed that he was heavily involved with the series planning as many assumed.

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The Boks did rebound in strong fashion as they put Wales away by a comfortable 30 – 14 margin in the final test in Cape Town.

With it they clinched the series 2 – 1, the loss in the second test however wrangled many South African supporters. A fact not lost on Erasmus.

“We certainly take note of your opinions. We definitely making mistakes and sometimes upset you with our plans and decisions, obviously that’s not because we want to but simply because we think that’s the best for Fact. we nothing without you guys!!!”

Defending the decision to make the wholesale changes, Erasmus released a video expressing just how much the Bok management learnt throughout the series.

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Erasmus even went as far as to suggest that his side should’ve received a penalty that would have seen them home in the second test.

“First Test well done, second Test well done,” Erasmus says in the video.

Erasmus even went as far as to suggest that his side should’ve received a penalty that would have seen them home in the second test.

“We kick it over and everybody would say ‘listen, we made 14 changes, we learned a lot’… what did we learn less than if we would have won the game? Absolutely f*** all.

“So, losing by one point with a totally [different] team has given us a lot of answers.”

Only time will tell if the experience given to the wider squad will play dividends. In the meantime, the Boks will be preparing for a wounded All Blacks side who were on the wrong end of history losing a series at home to Ireland for the first time.

The Boks could send their biggest rivals into even further disarray as current coach Ian Foster appears to be on the ropes fighting for his job.

Two wins over the All Blacks will set the Boks up nicely for a Rugby Championship title whilst the All Blacks could do the unthinkable and replace a coach just a year out from the World Cup.

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