PRETORIA – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has admitted that his team is under immense pressure to beat Australia in Brisbane this Saturday, but there is even greater pressure on him to make the right selections to get that victory.
“If you lose the pressure is more. We must win that’s the end of the game. If you lose there is pressure, it doesn’t matter against who.
“The pressure is definitely upon us to perform better and to win, and the players understand that.
“I’m sure that training and the effort on Saturday will show that,” said Erasmus when his team departed South Africa for Australia on Saturday.
Much of Erasmus’ selection plans were dismantled by his team’s inept performance in Mendoza which led to their defeat against Argentina, but it also raised a lot of questions about the mix of his combinations particularly amongst the loose forwards and in the midfield.
Erasmus revealed that he is considering making a change among his loose trio, with Pieter-Steph du Toit a serious contender to start and Marco van Staden coming off the bench as an outright fetcher.
If Erasmus is to tinker with his loose trio, then Siya Kolisi is likely to move back to No 6 at the expense of Francois Louw with Du Toit starting at blindside while Van Staden could also be a possibility at No 8 where he played for the Bulls during Super Rugby.
“I have been mulling about that (loose trio) because we had Duane in and are trying a few things there.
“I thought it went very well in Durban but it didn’t go so well (in Mendoza), not just the loose forwards but various positions the team was much less accurate and effective compared to Durban.
“Maybe it is a team thing that we will need to sort out. I think that loose trio combination will go far but we have some options with Pieter-Steph and Marco somewhere deserves a chance.
“Yes they didn’t fire last Saturday, definitely not.”
Erasmus might also consider making a change in the midfield where Andre Esterhuizen and Lukhanyo Am were found wanting in Mendoza with Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel likely to come into the reckoning especially with the wealth of experience they carry as a centre combination.