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'That is not the game': Ex-Bok coach de Villiers calls out Erasmus' one-sided approach

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Carl Fourie/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Former Springboks head coach Peter de Villiers has shared his views on the Rassie Erasmus saga which he believes has taken the game out of context.

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De Villiers, who coach South Africa from 2008 to 2011, joined The Rugby Pod to discuss a range of topics including the reaction in South Africa to Erasmus and his approach on social media.

The 65-year-old questioned why Erasmus’ highlighted calls that only went against South Africa, as opposed to showing both ways to make a point about inconsistencies.

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He believed that this was doing a disservice to the game which has always had missed calls with the speed at which decisions have to be made.

“That is not the game. The game is made out of milliseconds, quick decisions for players and for referees,” he told The Rugby Pod.

“There are things that you miss, but you don’t even know that you missed it until you step back and think, ‘I could have stepped there’ because the guy has over-tread.

“If you sit there and spend 15, 16, 25 hours watching the match over and over you’ll pick up so many bad things… but what my take on this whole thing is, why didn’t he put out the bad things that the Springboks were allowed to do?

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“Then to me, that would have been a just call.

“Because then he wants to show how bad the referee is on all his judgement calls.

“But whenever we lose, to go and sit there and show what he missed here and what he missed there… he [Erasmus] had the time to replay, and replay and then made the videos. This not what our game is all about.

“The game has become so soft nowadays and with this little thing, I don’t think that we want to be exposed so much of our weaknesses. I do things wrong, you do things wrong.”

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“If you sit and watch a game and think about what you could’ve done, but didn’t, you’ll be messing up our lovely game.”

When asked about how South Africa has reacted to the incident, De Villiers was critical over how it has been portrayed, calling the media ‘numb’ who don’t understand the game.

“It [the sentiment] is very indifferent here in this country… if you look at our media, they went numb on this whole thing,” De Villiers explained.

“And I’m not surprised because they actually don’t understand what this game is made of truly.

“What you see on that field in 80 minutes is only five percent, you know this Jim, you know this Andy, of what the guys put in to become what you were.”

“For SA Rugby, to not pull him back into line and to tell him what they actually want as a team… the values around the game, the norms and those kind of things.

“So yes, there are a lot of individuals, a lot of ex-Springboks who [are] not very happy with him. But let’s see when he comes back… because in this country, right has become wrong and wrong has become right.”

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