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Erasmus breaks his recent silence with a tweet about negativity

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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South African director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has broken his recent silence, taking to Twitter to comment about the fuss that has been generated by the Springboks losing three Rugby Championship matches in succession in Australia. Head coach Jacques Nienaber flew to Queensland from Cape Town with his team enjoying five wins from their six matches with him in charge. That was enough to clinch a Test series victory against the Lions and to also get their 2021 Championship campaign off to a promising start with successive victories over Argentina.


However, those wins have since dried up as the Springboks were denied by late penalties from Quade Cooper and Jordie Barrett either side of a worrying loss to the Wallabies in round four, and it has left Nienaber and his team under pressure heading into next Saturday’s round six finale versus the All Blacks on the Gold Coast.

There has been an avalanche of criticism about the Springboks’ style of play and Erasmus, who didn’t travel to Australia for the matches, has now had his say on social media about the unfolding situation.

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Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber talks tactics ahead of Rugby Championship round six
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Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber talks tactics ahead of Rugby Championship round six

“When we were winning with two or three points we were not complaining about the credit and positive comments we received, so please be sure that we understand, agree and won’t complain when we get the deserved negativity when we lose with a few points!!”

There is still no indication yet from World Rugby about a date for the hearing into the misconduct charge filed against Erasmus and SA Rugby following criticism of the Lions series match officials. However, the more diplomatic approach the Springboks are taking towards the officials was evident on Tuesday when Nienaber responded to a query on whether his team had been incorrectly penalised at last Saturday’s crucial penalty-conceding breakdown.

There was a suggestion that Quinn Tupaea might perhaps have been illegal, that there was no daylight between the All Black player’s hit and attempted poach on the ball-carrying Willie le Roux after he was tackled. Nienaber, though, refused to blame referee Luke Pearce for the decision that resulted in Barrett scoring New Zealand’s winning points. “That last breakdown we could have done better,” shrugged the coach. “We had two players there. We should have done better there.


“Those two players, I am not saying they are at fault, I am just saying we could have handled that situation better. We don’t want to put it in the referee’s head to make a decision there. We must be good enough to sort it out ourselves. We had an internal look at that breakdown and we gave ourselves the blame for it. We must be better in that department.”


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