Bloemfontein - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus believes it may be a carbon copy of the Ellis Park Test when South Africa and England meet for the second of their three-match series here on Saturday, although the scoreline may be lower.
While he expected opposition coach Eddie Jones to “tweak” a few things, Erasmus said he didn’t think that there would be too many changes to the England game plan.
“Eddie is obviously a very good coach and I think he would have tweaked a few things. I guess he is in the same boat as us, you have a week of training sessions - let’s say three training sessions and how much can you really change. He will make small little tweaks like we have but overall I think we may get the same type of Test match,” Erasmus told SuperSport.com.
“I was wrong last week in my predictions and I’m not sure how close I will get now. But we are playing at altitude compared to the rest of the places we play in South Africa. We will get tired and I guess that the pace will pick up where the pace is. So yes, more or less the same from my view.”
While both coaches have looked at defence after each side scored five tries in the game, Erasmus has been more concerned with the way the Boks started, and the fact they were 24-3 down after 18 minutes before performing one of the most heroic comebacks seen in the green and gold.
“I am more concerned about the first 20. But the last 20 I always knew we would struggle a bit because the guys on the bench were the guys who were flying back from Washington and it was just really a tough flight,” he said.
“We knew that would have an impact, that is why we were so late with the subs there. We don’t have that excuse this week, so let’s use that excuse and say that was the reason at the end.
“But hopefully it doesn’t happen again this week. I don’t think it was a concentration lapse, I just think everybody was tired in that game.”
Erasmus foresees a similar game, but that with both sides tightening up on defence it may be a lot lower scoreline than the 42-39 one in Johannesburg.
“I’m not sure if we will have a high scoring game and (if) we win that will be great but if it is a low scoring game and we win that will also be great. I think last week the game opened up for some reason very early and then we had to play catch-up rugby and we opened the game up very early ourselves.
“Test match rugby we all know is a tight affair with both teams trying to outmuscle each other. I guess both teams have analysed each other now and from analysis you tend to stop position and momentum better. It was a tight affair but I think it will be a lower scoring tight affair, but then again I might be wrong.”
England need to win the test to keep the three game series alive.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Jesse Kriel, 23 Warrick Gelant
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Brad Shields, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Mark Wilson, 20 Nathan Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Denny Solomona