Brendan Venter says Rassie Erasmus shouldn’t have brought on his substitutes so late in the game against the All Blacks at Loftus.
The Boks were leading 30-18 when Erasmus turned to his bench en mass. The All Blacks went on to score two converted tries, in the 76th and 79th minutes, to snatch a 32-30 win.
‘I’m sure Erasmus will acknowledge the substitutions he made were not well thought out,’ Venter wrote in his latest column for stuff.co.nz.
‘In the final 10 minutes of the match, the Springboks made five substitutions compared to the All Blacks’ one permanent switch.
‘In the 73rd minute, Embrose Papier replaced [Faf] De Klerk, Bongi Mbonambi swapped with Malcolm Marx and Tendai Mtawarira came on for Steven Kitshoff with six minutes to play. It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the players that came on and is instead down to the fact it’s nigh impossible to come on and make a difference straight away.
‘Rugby is a game of flow and feel and in the first five minutes, as a starter or reserve, it’s difficult to catch your breath. Thereafter, you are able to get into the game and play well. In my opinion, Erasmus should have brought the aforementioned playing personnel on with 20 minutes remaining in the Test because they would then have made an impact like modern-day finishers are supposed to.’
The former Bok defence coach said the Boks’ performance at Loftus was their best in the past five years.
‘I had never before seen the All Blacks dominated by any team as much as they were against the Springboks at Loftus,’ he added. ‘I hadn’t witnessed the All Blacks look that average in my life.’
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