According to Rassie Erasmus, the one thing his Springboks will have to tackle this week ahead of their Castle Lager Rugby Championship match against Australia is the slow starts the team has had.
In each test this season, the Springboks have fallen behind very early on and this has forced them to play catch-up for the entirety of the rugby game – in the upcoming games over the next two weeks, this could prove to be fatal. If you watched their last game, you would have seen the Boks fall badly behind in Mendoza and were unable to catch up, this ultimately has placed extra pressure on the team ahead of the trip to Australasia.
Erasmus has been open about the Springboks failings, putting them down to inexperience. Although he expressed that the forwards have been impressive in patches, it has been the back line's defensive failings that are under the spotlight and put him under pressure to rectify – not only in terms of selection but in terms of balance and combination as he heads into two weeks that will determine the mood of the rugby nation and most likely the season as well.
“I think the moment you get to 10, 11 test matches, you can stop saying it's first few test cap nerves. But, unfortunately, I think you can say it's test nerves for a few individuals. I’m not making excuses for them because we are just as involved and should be there to help those guys through tough times,” he said.
“Again, a few of those guys, it’s their fourth or fifth test cap – their first in that hostile environment away from home and they will take that on board and next time hopefully they will handle it better.
“But you are right, in the English test matches, it was the same thing. Sometimes you can’t control the start, but you can control the intensity that you start with. Sometimes we don’t control the intensity in the ways we should.”
You can see Springboks coach, Rassie Erasmus's, latest interview here: