The match finished with Owen Farrell’s big hit on Andre Exterhuizen being referred to the video referee but it was ruled legal denying the Springboks a late chance to win the game.
Continue reading below…
Kriel worked with Mitchell at the Bulls before he accepted the role as England’s new defence coach and this was his debut in the key coaching position. Kriel said: “ I worked with Mitch a lot at the Bulls and it is really exciting for England and he is going to make a massive difference to them. He will give the guys a lot of confidence and they will get a lot more turnovers.
“They had a lot more line speed which is what Mitch likes and it will take a few games to get to where he wants them to be. He is a wizard and will work his magic.
“That (Farrell) tackle happened right in front of me and the referee made a decision and we have to be happy with that decision. I have never seen Andre stopped like that – it was a proper hit. Hats off to Owen for that hit. The Highline defensive system if you want to call it, relies on a lot of commitment and you must have the guts to make bold decisions and get off the line.
“That excites players and it is easy to make a normal read and be soft but it is all about repeating the good hits time after time. That is when you get better and we had the same defensive system at the Bulls under Mitch and I loved it.”
The Springboks now head to Paris to face France and Kriel added: “ We don’t know what to expect from France because they are so emotional. It could be a mixed bag.”
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.