Boks' Erasmus praises series win, laments last encounter

Gregory WALTON
Under fire: Elton Jantjies of South Africa

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus praised his side's Test series performance against England Saturday but said the team were "terrible" in their 25-10 defeat by the tourists in the third encounter.

"We were terrible today, in my opinion," he told journalists after the match at Cape Town's Newlands stadium.

"It is nicer to learn out of winning ... it's not nice learning when you're losing."

Erasmus accepted he "took a few gambles today" and said he was "overall very disappointed about those things we could control that we didn't".

Siya Kolisi, who became South Africa's first ever black Test captain during the England tour, said that discipline had been a problem.

"We let ourselves down in that," he said. "We could have controlled the outcome of this game today."

- 'Played into that trap' -

"We were working really hard together as a team. Everybody was focussed but England were really smart, they broke everything down and we just played into that trap."

Kolisi added that "we knew what was coming our way and we just didn't adjust".

On winning the series, Kolisi said he was "really proud".

Erasmus blamed himself for fan hostility to Elton Jantjies who had the first scoring opportunity at five minutes but narrowly missed a penalty shot.

"I must more look at myself there than Elton," he said.

"Maybe the way we manage things, the way we rotate players and things like that -- some individuals are going to get singled out.

"Sometimes you put that poor player in that position where... people on the outside might think it's the last chance saloon for that player but we might be thinking long-term."

Erasmus paid tribute to Eddie Jone's vanquished Test side and their spirited final performance.

"In the first-half we were good but we gave away too many penalties... In the second-half, they just built the pressure and we couldn't get out of our own half," he said.

"If we'd lost the first game and won the last two it would be better -- it'll be six weeks until we play again.

"But it's bad to lose and we spoke about it and we will be ready for the (southern hemisphere) Rugby Championship."

Erasmus added that the wet weather at Newlands had played a role in the defeat.

"It's a different type of tiredness," he said of playing on a wet field. "We must now learn from this and do a review."