Boks to be ‘changed’ for Mendoza

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus is planning some changes to his team for their return fixture with Los Pumas.

Erasmus was critical of his South African team, despite their 34-21 win over Argentina in their Rugby Championship opener at Kings Park stadium in Durban at the weekend.

The Bok coach said his team were far from where they needed to be and rated only about a half-an-hour of the game as “satisfactory” – as the hosts scored six tries to Argentina’s three.

The Springboks were sloppy, but had enough dominance to secure a bonus-point win.

They are equal on five points with the title-holders and world champions New Zealand, who beat Australia 38-13, after the first round.

Erasmus said he planned to make changes for the return fixture in Mendoza this coming Saturday.

“They know what we’re about now and we’ll make a few changes to the team,” Erasmus said ahead of the trip to Argentina – adding that there would be about “four or five changes”.

“We’re expecting a massive physical onslaught; they are fuming,” the coach said of this past Saturday’s result.

“They have always been tough there, but we got five points out of this game.

“It was not the most beautiful and perfect game, but we’re well in it.

“Going there [Mendoza] I don’t think we have the luxury of experimenting.”

Erasmus was frank about his team’s under-par showing in the opening round of the competition, but felt there were valid reasons for the sloppy showing.

“Francois Louw only [had] a pre-season, while Faf [Francois de Klerk] was also having a pre-season and has not played for a while,” Erasmus said.

“Damian Willemse came back from a six-week knee injury and the same with Eben [Etzebeth].

“I was expecting I would say, not a fluent display, but it was worse than I thought in the first half.

“We lost a few line-outs that were crucial and there were some technical errors, but for all of that, it was a dominant performance.

“It wasn’t the crispest performance. Technically and tactically we weren’t on par today [Saturday].

“Luckily, Siya [Kolisi] and the boys fixed it at half-time.

“I think we got dragged into the pace that the Pumas played.

“We got sucked in and struggled to switch it on until the second half, and then we were really better.

“But you have to look at the positive – there is some gelling to be done in this team but as long as the effort is there it will come and we saw good effort.”

Springbok captain Kolisi said his team’s discipline had to improve.

“Our discipline set us back a bit and we missed a few opportunities, but the best thing was our intensity,” Kolisi said.

“We always want to get better and better and we will be focusing on that this week,” the loose forward added.