Cape Town - The Springboks are off the mark at the 2019 Rugby World Cup following their 57-3 win over Namibia in Saturday, but they must quickly turn their attention to next weekend's task against Italy in Shizuoka.
Following their loss to the All Blacks in their tournament opener, the Boks knew that they would have to win their three remaining pool matches against Namibia, Italy and Canada to guarantee a place in the quarter-finals.
The truth is that Namibia were never going to threaten the Boks in terms of the result and Canada are also not expected to put up much of a challenge.
Italy, however, are the potential banana peel having beaten Namibia and Canada already in the tournament while they will also have fond memories of a stunning win over the Springboks in Florence back in 2016.
It means that while the Boks can be pleased with certain elements of their game against Namibia, there is no time to dwell.
"For us, overall, a few boxes were ticked but certainly a lot of work still to do," Erasmus said after watching his side score nine tries against their southern African neighbours.
"We’ve now got a crunch game – a really important game – against Italy.
"We always said before the World Cup that there were four really important games in the tournament – beating one of New Zealand or Italy in the Pool and then the three play-off games – quarter-final, semi-final and final. There’s lots of work ahead."
Erasmus added that while it may not have seemed the most polished Bok performance, it was still important for the likes of Siya Kolisi to get some much-needed game time under the belt.
"We needed to bounce back with a win and we got that with five points so that was important and that was a positive," Erasmus said.
really came for us physically very hard. We might not have had a really hard
tactical challenge in this game but physically we were challenged.
"A lot of people will point fingers and say it wasn’t a great performance but at least it was a physical challenge. Some guys got some match fitness and we got some log points out of this and now we’re a little bit better prepared for the Italy match."
- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard