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Erasmus Acknowledges Criticism, Defend ‘Bomb Squad’ Tactics

  • July 9, 2024
  • 2 min read
Erasmus Acknowledges Criticism, Defend ‘Bomb Squad’ Tactics

Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus admits the team has been stung by continued criticism from abroad, particularly regarding their use of the “Bomb Squad” tactic in the first Test against Ireland.

Matt Williams, on the Virgin Media Sport Podcast, slammed the Boks for introducing all six forwards at once in the 49th minute of the Pretoria encounter.

However, Erasmus defends the strategy, echoing former coach Jacques Nienaber’s stance that it exploits the fatigue of opposing front rows.

“We do see things,” Erasmus said at a press conference in Beverly Hills.

“I’m on social media, I read things, and sometimes things that are said you take to heart, something you just try to understand. I try to stay in touch with South Africa and how our people react and be honest with the media without giving too much away.

“And to be honest with you, I have learned that, if you know the laws and protocols, you don’t go outside the protocols without being slapped over my wrist.

“Our reality, listen, man, we could have sent them on one by one, but all six went simultaneously and I don’t know if that is dangerous.”

Erasmus argues that the tactic isn’t inherently dangerous and questions why Ireland couldn’t employ a similar 6/2 split themselves. He believes the criticism stems from a single pundit and doesn’t reflect the overall sentiment.

“I don’t think the Irish team would agree with that, I don’t think Andy Farrel felt that, I think it is one individual who said that,” said the Munster coach.

“I’m not even sure one Irish players would agree with that because they were too proud and handled us well and scored two great tries, to make it a very intense game at the end. 

“So, one injury occurred in the first half before the Bomb Squad came on. Something makes sense when you see and others don’t.”  

Meanwhile, Ireland are dealing with several injuries following the first Test. Craig Casey and Dan Sheehan are confirmed out for the remainder of the tour, while other players like Bundee Aki, Jamie Osborne, James Lowe, Robbie Henshaw, Andre Potter are doubtful for the second Test.

On a different note, Erasmus has named an unchanged 23-man squad for the Durban encounter, marking the most experienced Springbok starting lineup in history with a combined 990 Test caps.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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