Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed that Faf de Klerk did not return to the field in their 16-16 draw with the All Blacks after failing a concussion test.
De Klerk was temporarily substituted early in the second half after appearing to take a blow to the head, with young scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies coming on as a replacement.
However, there was some confusion as De Klerk appeared to come down the tunnel to return to the field of play, but was not allowed to do so.
Speaking after the match, Erasmus said the incident was a result of a communication issue and that De Klerk had failed his Head Impact Assesment (HIA) test.
‘He actually failed the HIA.’ Erasmus said. ‘There was a little bit of a communication gap because of the time limit [when a player can return to the field after a test].
‘I was getting a bit upset because we couldn’t hear back if he failed or didn’t fail it, because there is a time limit on it. But he actually failed the HIA and we didn’t get the communication back in time. Even so, he failed it so it doesn’t matter.’
Fortunately for the Boks, Jantjies was once again the man of the hour as he latched onto a chip over the top from Cheslin Kolbe to score a 79th minute try and give the visitors the opportunity to draw the match.
Following Jantjies’ two-try Test debut against the Wallabies, Erasmus says his natural talents need to be encouraged.
‘Try scoring looks like it is a really simple thing for him at this level. With a guy like him, if you can keep his natural game flowing and not overcoach him too much on all the technical things.
‘A lot of the mistakes us as coaches make sometimes is to put a lot of emphasis on the mechanical, slow and technical things like box-kicking.
‘His service is nice and crisp, his feeling for the game and support play is a great thing that he brings to the game. If we keep encouraging that and don’t overcoach him in his weaknesses, he will keep improving and doing the things he did today.’
Photo: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images