'We're aware we're not close to a world class performance‚' says Bok coach Erasmus

South Africa's Herschel Jantjies scores a try on debut for the Springboks.
South Africa's Herschel Jantjies scores a try on debut for the Springboks.
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says they are nowhere near the standard they have set themselves even after the hard-fought 35-17 win over Australia at Ellis Park on Saturday.

The Boks delivered grit and determination in their first match since November as the coach gambled with an experimental side in the absence of senior players.

He welcomed the result as it will give his charges confidence ahead of their second Rugby Championship outing against the All Blacks of New Zealand on Saturday.

“We are aware that we are not close to a world class performance‚” he said.

“It was more individuals who stood out in the game to raise their hands in Test match rugby‚ that that was the biggest take out.

"The way we play is definitely not the quality that will get us into the play-offs of the World Cup‚ but we expected that with the team that has not played together in a long time.”

Several players are already in Wellington to acclimatize for this weekend’s clash against New Zealand and the move paid dividends. The Boks flew out to New Zealand with some of the players who played in Johannesburg to join the rest of the squad.

Erasmus started Saturday's encounter with debutants Herschel Jantjies and Rynhardt Elstadt while Lizo Gqoboka came off the bench. They were surrounded by the experience of players like Eben Etzebeth‚ Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ Beast Mtawarira and Elton Jantjies.

The Boks coach pointed out that there was an element of luck in their win as Australia knocked the ball on the edge of the try line and one of their tries was denied because of a forward pass in the build-up.

“Decisions go for you or against sometimes‚ last year against England it didn’t go our way with the high tackle and we could have won that match and against France we could have lost that match‚" he said.

"We were lucky because they knocked the ball on the try line and there was also a forward pass when they could have scored and we would have been under the pump.

"It is the same as last year when we played New Zealand‚ they scored a try that could have been called back for a forward pass.

"When decisions come your way‚ you must take them and say thanks.”

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