Jacques Nienaber insists South Africa players were not distracted by Rassie Erasmus' video

Jacques Nienaber was full of praise for South African players
Jacques Nienaber was full of praise for South African players
©Steve Haag

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber believes the Springboks players were not distracted by the hour-long video posted by Rassie Erasmus following their win in the second Test in Cape Town.

Erasmus launched criticism on the match officials from the first game and listed out a number of decisions that went against South Africa during their 17-22 defeat with even skipper Siya Kolisi backing him.

Nevertheless, the defending World Champions made a strong comeback in the series as they sealed a 27-9 win in the second game riding on tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am and a 17-point contribution from Handre Pollard.

“Rassie as our director of rugby had something on his mind, something that we discussed,” said Nienaber following the second game. “That’s off-field stuff, and we knew we had to focus on the rugby.

“So hats off to the players. We had a review, a tough week because of that, we were hard on each other. It’s not just players, it’s coaches as well, sometimes we get things wrong.

“But we put our hands up and say ‘Listen I made a mistake there’. We just focus on rugby and the things we can control. That’s basically what we did.

“The other stuff is off-field stuff and that was handled by our director of rugby, and our stuff was on-field.”

The 25th minute in the game saw South Africa wing Cheslin Kolbe sin-binned for tackling Conor Murray in the air. Even though there were calls that Kolbe should have sent-off for the tackle, Nienaber feels the right decision was made.

“I thought it was the right call, that they made,” said Nienaber. “There’s a clear process that they follow when they go through foul play.

“It would take five minutes to sit here and go through that in detail, but there’s a clear process that they have to go through, and I thought it was followed to the ‘T’.”