Rassie Erasmus says he initially planned to rotate his squad in the match against Australia. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

MENDOZA, Argentina – Coach Rassie Erasmus says he must accept responsibility for the Springboks' "terrible" 32-19 defeat against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

There is no doubt that the Boks produced their worst performance of the Erasmus era to date, with a number of soft moments enabling Argentina to race into an unassailable 27-7 halftime lead. Chatting to SuperSport in a post-match interview, Erasmus himself looked rather shell-shocked by the result, and said there would need to be some serious introspection.

"We had so many opportunities to score tries in the first 15-20 minutes. We just didn’t capitalise on that. "We played like a team that’s playing club rugby. I must point the finger at myself. When you play like this, the coach did something badly wrong during the week."

Although the Boks lost winger Makazole Mapimpi to injury early on in the clash, Erasmus said there could be no excuses: "I don’t want to keeping saying we learn, we learn, we learn. We had a terrible performance, it was unacceptable… we can’t perform like that in a Springbok jersey, and as a coach I should have ensured that we performed better."

Erasmus also conceded that this defeat would affect some of the plans they had in place for the upcoming tour to Australia and New Zealand. "We had certain plans that we wanted to try against Australia, but that’s out the window now. We have to get back to winning ways again, it’s win at all costs now," he said. "This puts us back quite a bit. We wanted to win this game [in Mendoza] and give a few other guys a chance against Australia, but we can’t do that now."

The Springboks return home on Tuesday and the squad will re-assemble on Saturday in Johannesburg, from where they will travel to Brisbane for their next fixture, on September 8, against the Wallabies at the Suncorp Stadium. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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