British & Irish Lions

Rassie drops the mind-games, praises Lions for 'well deserved' win: 'No excuses'

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Warren Gatland and Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Warren Gatland and Rassie Erasmus. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The margins were predictably fine and the result could've been different had Willie le Roux's disallowed try gone the other way, but Rassie Erasmus was at the front of the queue to praise the British & Irish Lions for their win in Saturday night's first Test.

In stark contrast to the banter and mind games between the national director of rugby and Warren Gatland, the touring side's head coach, that coloured much of the build-up, the World Cup-winning mentor was succinct and gracious in defeat.

Despite the significant disruption caused by an earlier Covid-19 outbreak in the squad, Erasmus took to social media to reiterate the party line that the Boks only had themselves to blame.

After leading 12-3 at half-time, South Africa lost their shape and discipline to concede 19 points in the next 40 minutes to slump to a 17-22 loss.

"No excuses this side," Erasmus tweeted late on Saturday night.

He also pointed out that the Lions showed fine mental steel to win given the challenge of also having to operate in a strict bio-bubble far away from home.

"You are far away from home, families and going through same tough covid protocols like we do!!

"Congrats and well deserved !!!"

Next week's second Test will also be played at the Cape Town Stadium.

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