Erasmus puzzled by criticism of Bomb Squad

Ireland’s head coach Andy Farrell. | Backpagepix

Ireland’s head coach Andy Farrell. | Backpagepix

Published Jul 10, 2024


Mike Greenaway

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has weighed in on the ongoing debate about whether the use of the Bomb Squad is within the spirit of the game and adds that he has learnt the hard way to stay within the laws of the game.

Former Scotland coach Matt Williams, of Australia, has called on World Rugby to ban the simultaneous introduction of forwards off the bench for a tactical advantage.

Erasmus said that he was aware of the renewed criticism of the Bomb Squad after the Ireland scrum was annihilated late in last week’s game at Loftus Versfeld.

“We do hear things and see things. I am on social media and I read stuff,” said Erasmus.

“There are some things that you take to heart and some things that you try to understand. I try to stay in touch with South Africa and what our people feel and how they react, and I try to be honest with the media without giving too much away.

“To be honest with you, I’ve learned that you have to know the laws and the protocols and you don’t go outside of the protocols. I’ve been slapped over my wrists for doing that and then had to learn and adapt.”

Erasmus said he was puzzled about the contention that sending on a group of substitutes was dangerous.

“We could have sent them on one by one, but if all six go at the same time, I don’t know if that’s dangerous. Ireland also play with a 6-2 (bench split).”

Cleverly, the coach said he doubted Ireland had a problem with the use of the Bomb Squad.

“I don’t think the Irish team feels that way and I don’t think (coach) Andy Farrell feels that way. I think it’s one individual who said that, but I’m not sure the Irish players would agree with it,” he said.

“They’re too proud and they handled us well, and still after that (Bok penalty try) scored two great tries to make it a tight game at the end.

“Some things make sense when you see them, and others don’t.”