"Unfortunately, it's Reckless" - 5 Talking Points: Rassie Erasmus' Post Match Conference After Springboks Defeat Wales at Twickenham - Page 2 of 2 - Ruck

“Unfortunately, it’s Reckless” – 5 Talking Points: Rassie Erasmus’ Post Match Conference After Springboks Defeat Wales at Twickenham

3. Aphelele Fassi’s Sin Bin – Erasmus calls flying kick ‘reckless’ but not deliberate

One of the stand out decisions from the Springboks victory, was the decision to send fullback Aphelele Fassi to the sin bin. The Sharks man was brandished with a yellow card, as whilst jumping to catch a high ball, he stuck out a boot which made contact with the face of Wales back-row Taine Plumtree. Erasmus gave his verdict on the offence, calling the jumping kick an accident.

Aphelele Fassi of South Africa during the Qatar Airways Cup match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium in London on 22 June 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

RASSIE ERASMUS: ‚ÄúObviously, it was an accident, but you can probably put it under the reckless banner and you have to live with that. If your technique is you put your foot in the air then you might have a chance of hitting a guy in the head, and if your technique is not like that then you won’t hit the guy.

“Even though it was an accident and definitely not on purpose, it was like a tackle where you go really hard and low but hit a guy on the chin. Unfortunately it’s reckless. We’re not moaning about that. We understand it but we know it wasn’t on purpose.”

4. Wales proved to be a challenge despite Gatland fielding a squad of young players

Warren Gatland, Head Coach of Wales is interviewed during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Media Launch at County Hall, Lambeth, London on Monday 23rd January 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

Wales were hindered by a litany of unavailabilities for the match against South Africa, with Warren Gatland forced to utilise his squad depth. Regular captain Dafydd Jenkins and his Exeter Chiefs teammate Christ Tshuinza were ineligible, as the match took place outside World Rugby’s international window.

Also, Sam Parry’s withdrawal from the squad lessened the hooking ranks, and Jac Morgan’s torn hamstring has written out the back-row for the Summer. Despite the reduced options for players heading into the game, Erasmus praised the effort displayed by Gatland’s men as his Springboks did not dominate their opposition.

Dafydd Jenkins, Captain of Wales looks dejected after losing during the Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 10 February 2024 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

RASSIE ERASMUS: ‚ÄúThe score-line certainly shows about 40 points. You know, we only conceded one try. But, there was only one (Wales) drive to score. It will make a big impact on the score. There was that one where we were close to the try line and it was held up. So, our team dominated this ground, but we didn’t get into a certain dominant position.”

5. Erasmus plans to expand his squad for the upcoming Test against Portugal

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa Director of Rugby during the Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Twickenham Stadium, Twickenham, London on August 25th 2023. – PHOTO: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Whilst the majority of Erasmus’ focus is on the incoming Irish, South Africa are also set for a one-off Test match against Portugal to round off their Summer. A squad consisting of Springbok fringe players are expected to take on the Portugal, with the Springbok star players awarded with a rest after back-to-back meetings with Andy Farrell’s Ireland. Erasmus laid out his plans to expand the South African squad ahead of his final Summer test.

RASSIE ERASMUS: “It will be like a 35 to 40-man squad, we might put in guys here and there, depending on how the series goes, that we can give a chance against Portugal as well. So, you know, one week we might have four or five guys playing against each other, just getting the experience, getting to know the guys.

“One or two of those guys, some might start, some might just be with us to get experience of how we do things, but that’s not a bad opportunity. So, it won’t be another team that trains with us. It will be just an extended squad, a little bit more than the typical 36.”