Rassie Erasmus says Rob du Preez’s charged-down kick that led to Wales’ match-winning try in Washington wasn’t entirely his fault.
The Boks were leading 20-17 with five minutes to go when Du Preez, who had replaced Elton Jantjies at flyhalf in the 72nd minute, had two clearance kicks charged down in quick succession.
While Akker van der Merwe was able to pick up the loose ball on the first occasion, Du Preez’s second charged-down kick saw the ball ricochet off Travis Ismaiel into the hands of Wales replacement hooker Ryan Elias, who scored.
Erasmus said the team had not provided Du Preez with enough ‘shield’ support around the rucks.
‘It isn’t 100% his fault… it was more a team mistake.
‘He feels guilty, but the only thing you can do is bounce back and rectify it when you get your next opportunity. He understands that.’
Erasmus said it was important to test players at international level ahead of Japan 2019.
‘We have to make some big calls between now and the World Cup. We have to try guys and see what they have and we’re going to make a few mistakes while doing that.
‘We can go the old route and just pick the same guys, coach them better and hope for different results or we can throw guys there in the deep end and hope they swim.
‘There were 13 new caps on Saturday and some of them swam and some of them struggled a little bit. Robert was one of those guys.’
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