Herschel Jantjies came to the rescue for the Springboks and helped them secure a draw over the All Blacks. Photo: Raghavan Venugopal/www.Photosport.nz

WELLINGTON – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus had hoped his first-choice scrumhalf Faf de Klerk would return to the field after being sent off for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) test in Saturday's Rugby Championship match in Wellington.

However, unknown to Erasmus at the time, De Klerk had failed the test but the outcome was not immediately relayed to him. Erasmus feared because he was aware of the time limit for players taking time-out for HIA tests.

Erasmus said afterwards he was flustered but conceded that there was a slight communication issue around the issue.

"We could not get clarity about the test but in end, he failed the HIA so, in fact, it doesn’t matter."

While Erasmus was unhappy about De Klerk having to go off, he was full of praise for replacement Herschel Jantjies who rescued the Boks with his last-gasp try which led to the 16-16 draw.

The coach was impressed with his service and said Jantjies had a natural feeling for the game. He also mentioned his support play which he feels adds much to the Springboks.

But Erasmus warned that though he is still starting his international career. He should not be over-coached in some of his weak departments and that he will improve with time. 

Erasmus poured added praise on Jantjies, mentioned that scoring a try for him looks simple, even at Test level. 

"That's why we must not get too technical about Herschel. Let him play his natural game."

African News Agency (ANA)