Rassie Erasmus says Siya Kolisi, and not Bongi Mbonambi, was responsible for the lineout overthrow that led to a crucial try for the Wallabies in Brisbane.
The Springboks had a lineout 5m from their tryline in the 33rd minute of the match when Mbonambi’s long throw-in failed to find Kolisi at the back. As a result, Matt Toomua was able to score under the posts.
The hooker was subsequently substituted in the 34th minute, with Australia going on to win 23-18.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Erasmus cleared Mbonambi of any wrongdoing, saying captain Kolisi – the hooker’s intended target – was to blame.
‘The lineout was Siya’s mistake, not Bongi’s,’ he said, hinting at a breakdown in communication between the pair.
The Bok coach again reiterated that Mbonambi was not substituted because of that incident.
‘After 30 minutes, I asked our fitness coach how Bongi’s doing and he said Bongi was struggling. So the decision to replace him was taken before that overthrow at the lineout.
‘I’ll never replace a player solely because he missed his target at a lineout. It’s a learning curve for Bongi ahead of the World Cup. We know Malcolm Marx is going to be the first-choice hooker, but if he gets injured at the World Cup, Bongi will know how to handle the pressure.’
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