Rassie acknowledges Bok defence must improve

2018-06-12 20:06
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo Images)
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said there was plenty of room for improvement ahead of Saturday's second Test against England at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

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In last weekend's first Test at Ellis Park, South Africa overturned an early 24-3 deficit to win 42-39.

It was Erasmus' second game in charge since taking the reins from Allister Coetzee earlier in the year.

In that chaotic opening quarter, the inexperienced Bok backline was severely exposed for holding a lack of width, something which Erasmus had identified and was working on.

“We didn’t get enough width out wide... but we had two young wings and an outside centre (Lukyanho Am) who are new at this level. Of course they were also nervous in the first few minutes... and England exploited us out wide with pin-point passing and kicking,” Erasmus said, as quoted by IOL. “Once we got width it went well (in defence)."

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Erasmus acknowledged that they must work hard on their defence.

“The guys must also get used to it, and each other. At Test level it’s a high-speed game; it’s not Super Rugby. But, at the same time we must keep up our attack.”

The Bok mentor also admitted that work needed to be done on the breakdown area and added that he was happy with the attack, although there were a lot of mistakes made.

“We’re going to have to give it some attention. We don’t have an out-and-out fetcher... but the win helps to give me space to breathe.

“The attack was good for a team that is more renowned for kicking the ball back."

Erasmus will name his side on Thursday, with Saturday's Test scheduled for 17:05.

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Read more on:    england  |  springboks  |  rassie erasmus  |  rugby

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