Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus admitted his side needed a bit of luck to escape with a 16-16 draw against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.
Replacement scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies scored the match-saving try on full time, which Handré Pollard converted, to tie the game at 16-16 after the All Blacks managed to break the Springboks’ tight defensive grip in the second half.
Jantjies latched on to a chip over the top from Cheslin Kolbe and managed to retain possession despite the ball rebounding off his head.
Speaking after the match, Erasmus said the Boks had a heavy stroke of luck in coming away with a draw, after the All Blacks dominated possession and territory in the second half.
‘To play the No 1 team in the world and be lucky at the end there, it was almost like last year,’ Erasmus said.
‘Right at the end we could have lost it and we managed to draw the game, and Handré could have missed that last kick so we could have lost that game.
‘To come away with a draw, I guess we’re satisfied with that. The first 35 minutes we played very well while they totally dominated the second half. So fairly lucky, in a big way.’
The Bok mentor was frustrated that his team did not collect more reward for their early efforts, when they were clearly dominant.
‘I was frustrated in a sense that we dominated a lot of things except lineouts,’ Erasmus said. ‘All the other facets we dominated. Especially when they were almost under caution from the referee for repeated infringing and we missed the penalty when we could have gone nine points up, then they scored that turnover try and that swung the momentum.
‘Lucky to escape, but the first 40 minutes we played really good tactical rugby.’
The Springboks now travel to Auckland for a week-long training camp before their third and final Rugby Championship match against Argentina in two weeks’ time in Salta.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) July 27, 2019
Photo: Mark Tantrum/Getty Images