Brendan Venter says the Springboks performed worse in 2018 than they did in 2017 in terms of results and transformation.
The Boks finished the year with a seven from 14 record. In a column for Stuff, Venter – who was on the Bok coaching staff last season – reminded readers that the team only lost four games in 2017 and had a slightly better transformation record.
‘From a purely numbers point of view, it’s undeniable that South Africa failed to make progress under Erasmus this season. As a matter of fact, they were worse off this year,’ he said.
‘However, because they beat the All Blacks away from home, the cracks were painted over. Statistically speaking, Erasmus performed substantially worse in his first season than Coetzee did in his second season.’
That said, Venter believes that Erasmus must be backed for an extended period so that the team has sufficient time to build.
‘I’m not suggesting that Erasmus should go. I’m of the view that it’s even more reason to support Erasmus, because if you look at the way Coetzee grew in his second year, Erasmus should grow in exactly the same way.
‘If the administrators don’t miss a trick then it will give us a return on patience after four years, which we are hoping for in South Africa rugby. Whatever we do, Erasmus must stay on for at least three years and actively manage South Africa to allow for an upward trajectory.’
The All Blacks lost to the Boks and Ireland this season. Venter suggested that New Zealand would need to work hard in 2019 to ‘regain their aura’.
‘It’s the way they played and not the results that will be of concern to the coaches. The All Blacks will be aiming to ensure they regain their aura because there is no doubt it has been lost. But, while the Boks have historically chopped and changed, the All Blacks have retained continuity.’
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