Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says captain Siya Kolisi, and not hooker Bongi Mbonambi, was to blame for the botched lineout against Australia in Brisbane last weekend.
A big talking point after South Africa’s 23-18 loss was Erasmus’ decision to substitute Mbonambi with Malcolm Marx after 35 minutes.
The substitution came shortly after Mbonambi had made an error with an overthrown lineout which gifted a try to Australian centre Matt Toomua.
Erasmus on Monday told Netwerk24 in Wellington that Mbonambi was not to blame for the lineout mishap.
“The (overthrow) was Siya’s error and not Bongi’s,” said Erasmus.
Kolisi was too slow to react at the back as the Wallaby centre scooped the ball up to score under the posts.
Erasmus stood by his claim that he did not substitute Mbonambi because of what occurred at that lineout.
According to the Bok mentor, the player was struggling physically.
“We had already decided before that lineout to replace Bongi. After 30 minutes we asked out fitness guru how Bongi was going. He was already struggling by then. I told Bongi beforehand to played at the highest possible intensity to see how long he lasts, considering he had not played recently.”
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The Boks tackle the All Blacks in Wellington this weekend, with Erasmus to name his team on Thursday.