Cape Town - Former national coach Jake White has heaped praise on the Springboks and their coaching staff following last Saturday’s win over England at Ellis Park.
After a horror start, which saw them trail 24-3 early in the game, the Boks regrouped to eventually run out 42-39 victors.
White shared his views via a column for the All Out Rugby website and said he was pleased to see Siya Kolisi, the team’s first black Test captain, rally his troops after a slow start.
“In what was quite symbolic of the state of rugby in South Africa, the Boks, trailing 24-3 after 20 minutes and on the brink of getting a big hiding, needed someone to say ‘from here, no more’. Siya Kolisi stepped up, regrouping the team behind the poles," White wrote.
White also lauded the performance of debutants - wingers Aphiwe Dyantyi and Sbu Nkosi and lock RG Snyman.
Nkosi scored a first-half brace while Dyanti also crossed the whitewash in the second half.
"The way they combined for one of the tries - with that inside pass from Dyantyi to Nkosi - was significant. We’ve been waiting a long time to see that from players who are said to be more seasoned, and they haven’t got those subtleties right,” White wrote.
“RG Snyman was special. In his first Test match, he was carrying up on slow ball, all the lineouts were going to him, and defensively and physically he looked like he’s been a pro for a long time.”
White also lauded Erasmus and his management team for getting things right in a relatively short space of time.
“The Boks must have had an incredible week of training to get all of those things so spot on.”
Looking ahead to the 2018 season, White said the Boks must take as much as they can from the performance at Ellis Park.
“That performance has given this new era a big head start, and the challenge is making sure that - on and off the field - we don’t waste it like England did.
“The Boks completed their take-off checklist at Ellis Park. We’ve got a black captain, the team is on a high, sponsors want to jump in, the product you’re selling to the fan is fantastic, and kids all over the country would have dusted off their rugby boots on Sunday. So what do we do now, going forward? Don’t make mistakes like England did to let us back in the game. We’ve got to find a way to bottle that performance and use it again.”
READ Jake White's full column on the All Out Rugby website