Breyton Paulse says inconsistent performances should be expected from Springboks as Rassie Erasmus tests combinations. DYLAN JACK reports.
Erasmus lost his first Test as Bok head coach to Wales in Washington DC, before winning a home Test series against England 2-1. The Boks then began their Rugby Championship campaign with a good win against Argentina in Durban only to suffer a shock loss to the Pumas in the return leg.
Paulse says the early loss of wing Makazole Mapimpi to injury disrupted the side in Mendoza, despite his replacement, Lionel Mapoe, scoring a brace.
‘You don’t want to lose a player that early – especially someone who is coming off a hot season,’ the former Bok wing told SARugbymag.co.za.
‘Mapimipi has become a vital cog and has been really good in terms of his work ethic. It is never nice losing a player, it does unsettle the combination and not everyone is strong enough to handle that.’
Paulse said the Boks’ inconsistency should be expected as Erasmus tries to build a side capable of challenging the All Blacks.
‘Obviously, it was disappointing [to lose to the Pumas] because the guys had done well up until then. The expectations were getting higher and higher.
‘We had a time when people were really worried about the Springboks’ performances and Rassie has done well to get the guys back on track and create a new hope.
‘In the process, there will be ups and downs. It is going to depend on how these guys handle the stumbling blocks. You want to see a response and a positive reaction because you are not going to win every game.’
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