DURBAN – Springbok enforcer Eben Etzebeth’s rugby season could be over, coach Rassie Erasmus admitted on Saturday. Etzebeth limped off the Twickenham pitch in pain and while he will be further assessed today, it does not look good.
“Eben looks pretty bad,” said Erasmus at the post-match press conference. “He is out definitely for France and maybe the tour. The way he is walking doesn’t look great, it looks like an ankle and it will be a while before he is playing again.”
Erasmus conceded that the Boks had been their own worst enemies in going down 12-11.
“The two things which we didn’t do well was to finish our opportunities and our discipline,” said Erasmus. “It doesn’t matter how you look at it, if you don’t finish off your opportunities and give away too many penalties, you will lose the Test match.”
Erasmus was also frustrated by the missed lineout opportunities when the Boks were on the front foot.
“The lineouts were frustrating for me,” he said. “(England lock Maro) Itoje was off with a yellow card and I thought we made the right call to opt for the lineouts instead of kicking for goal,” he said.
Erasmus said he was pleased with the performances of Damian Willemse at fullback and Ivan van Zyl at scrumhalf. Willemse made his first start for the team, while Van Zyl only had one previous start in the No 9 jersey.
“For them, a match such as this one is a great learning curve and playing in those decision making positions, I think they did well,” said Erasmus.
Captain Siya Kolisi concurred with his coach regarding the Boks shooting themselves in the foot.
“We had so many chances that we could have taken. We know we are our own enemies,” Kolisi said.