Rassie admits Boks were 'lucky to escape' with draw

Rassie Erasmus (Gallo Images)
Rassie Erasmus (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus believes his side were lucky to come away with a 16-16 draw against the All Blacks in Wellington.

A late try from replacement scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, converted by Handré Pollard, saw the Springboks claim a dramatic draw on Saturday.

After the tied match, which keeps South Africa top of the Rugby Championship standings, Erasmus admitted he was relieved to share the spoils.

"To play the number one team in the world and be lucky at the end there, it was almost like last year," he told the press after a tight contest.

"Right at the end we could have lost it and we managed to draw the game, and Handré could have missed that last kick so we could have lost that game.

"To come away with a draw, I guess we're satisfied with that. The first 35 minutes we played very well while they totally dominated the second half. So fairly lucky, in a big way," he said.

READ: Now how badly does Rassie want Rugby Championship title?

Indeed, the Springboks started impressively, especially defensively, and were unlucky to go into the break 7-6 down after they had dominated territory and possession. Erasmus was therefore pleased with how they took the game to the hosts early on and feels they can build from it.

"We certainly take a lot of positives out of this because they are the world's number one team, they're the benchmark and we all strive to be where they are," he continued.

"I was frustrated in a sense that we dominated a lot of things except line-outs. All the other facets we dominated. Especially when they were almost under caution from the referee for repeated infringing and we missed the penalty when we could have gone nine points up, then they scored that turnover try and that swung the momentum.

"Lucky to escape, but the first 40 minutes we played really good tactical rugby."

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