Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus believes that his side’s landslide victory against minnows Canada should be viewed in context. JON CARDINELLI in Kobe reports.
The Boks scored 10 tries in their 66-7 hammering of Canada on Tuesday. It’s tempting to describe the attacking performance in the first half as the Boks’ best of the tournament until one considers the quality of the opposition.
Erasmus went out of his way to make this point at the post-match media conference. There was a lot of buzz around Cobus Reinach’s hat-trick and RG Snyman’s magic offload showing.
The Bok coach, however, reminded all and sundry that South Africa’s quarter-final opponents will be tougher to crack.
‘The first-half performance was clinical. It’s pleasing when you consider the conditions at this stadium – with the ball becoming very slippery due to the increased humidity – and the fact that we had a lot of guys starting who hadn’t played a lot at this tournament.
‘It’s hard to judge where you are in a game like this, though. Canada got a red card. They were a forward down and then they also couldn’t get any linespeed on defence.
‘We can’t look at this specific match against Canada and say we are ready for a quarter-final,’ Erasmus said. ‘The pressure is going to be very different in that game next week.’
Flank Kwagga Smith lamented the Boks’ performance in the second stanza. South Africa led 47-0 at half time, but only managed to score 19 points against a 14-man Canada side thereafter.
‘We conceded a series of penalties early in the second half. Then the ball became really slippery. That really stalled our momentum,’ Smith said. ‘I’ve played at this stadium before while on duty for my club Yamaha. I always knew it was going to be a challenge.
‘You can’t really prepare for these conditions. It’s not about the ball getting wet, it’s about it getting greasy. Your passes have to be on point. If they’re too high or too low there’s a good chance of them going down.
‘Some of the players who play here regularly will strap their fingers or even their wrists. That will stop the sweat running down to your hands and causing you to drop the ball.’
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