Rassie Erasmus says fatigue was to blame for the Springboks fading in the last quarter of the first Test against England. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says he is expecting more of the same from England in their second Test in Bloemfontein on Saturday. 

Erasmus doesn’t think that his English counterpart Eddie Jones will change much in his team’s tactics and they will dish out more or less the same running game they deployed in the first match.

While the Springboks had expected a kicking fest from England, the tourists preferred a more ball-in-hand approach which caught the hosts napping in the first 20 minutes of the game which led to three tries and a healthy lead of 24-3. 

“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,” Erasmus said.

"He will make small little tweaks like we have but overall I think we may get the same type of test match. 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 with the more space there is. So yes, more or less the same from my view."

And Erasmus admittedly is more concerned about how his team will start the game in Bloemfontein after their horror start at Ellis Park which was riddled with defensive errors especially out wide. Erasmus feels they have made the right adjustments to their defence to cope with whatever England throws at them and that there will be no excuses for the bench not elevating their game when called upon.

Video: Vata Ngobeni

The Springboks ended the Ellis Park Test in almost the same way they began it with England having the upper hand as they cut down a 10 point lead in the last three minutes to finish off three points shy of the South Africans. 

Erasmus says the replacements where still tired from the trip they had made a week earlier to and from Washington and that they will be fresher in the second Test.

“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. 

“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,” said Erasmus.


IOL Sport

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter