South Africa lacked killer touch‚ says frustrated Erasmus

“It is frustrating especially as (England forward) Maro Itoje was off when we had the line outs‚” he said.

“I don’t dispute going for touch‚ they were the right calls.

“However‚ losing the ball and then an overthrow is frustrating. There are not a lot of youngsters in the pack so we can’t blame it on inexperience.”

Erasmus‚ capped 36 times by South Africa‚ said world rankings don’t usually lie and the form had been borne out on Saturday.

“England’s world ranking is there to see (they are fourth) and I don’t know how much to read into that‚” he said.

“They are above us (South Africa are fifth) so when you look at them we shouldn’t stand a chance. “In the broader scheme of things clearly New Zealand and Ireland are number one and two respectively but others are catching them up.”

Erasmus‚ who suffered a big blow with the injury to star lock Eben Etzebeth early in the second-half‚ admitted the Springboks had missed experienced stars in fullback le Roux and scrum-half and world player of the year nominee de Klerk.

They were ruled out as the match fell outside the Test window and they are playing in the English Premiership.

Erasmus said Damian Willemse and Ivan van Zyl — who came in at fullback and scrum-half respectively — acquitted themselves well although their inexperience was exposed as the match wore on and the visitors failed to build a big lead.

“You can’t expect young players like them to come and control the game‚” he said. “It is a learning curve and they had people around them who could look after them and advise them. “Yes we missed Faf and Willie but I don’t think they performed badly at all.”

Erasmus insisted he was not being sarcastic when he praised Owen Farrell’s tackle on Andre Esthuizen in the final move of the match which looked high but was ultimately judged legal.

“We should start tackling like that and execute it like that. Nothing upset me about the tackle we just have to latch on that if it is legal‚ it is effective.

“Tackle a guy like Andre and stop him in his tracks is some going. There is no sarcasm at all.”

– AFP

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