Cape Town - The Springboks are adamant they will be trying to emulate Owen Farrell’s ‘legitimate’ tackle when they tackle France in Paris on Saturday.
There was a dramatic incident at the end of last weekend’s Test between England and South Africa at Twickenham when Australian referee Angus Gardner opted not to award the Springboks a penalty after it appeared as though England flyhalf Farrell had executed a dangerous no-arms tackle on Bok replacement Andre Esterhuizen.
Gardner deemed it a legitimate tackle as he felt Farrell had made enough of an attempt to wrap his arms in the tackle.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said after the game that his players should try to emulate Farrell’s tackle and on Monday a video of the Bok mentor showing Esterhuizen how to emulate the tackle had social media buzzing.
The same message was again relayed at a Springbok press conference in Paris on Monday when assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said: “World Rugby always sets standards and as the Springboks we always make sure we keep up with and follow those standards.
“Angus Gardner is a world-class referee, who is rated by World Rugby. If he says what happened at Twickenham was a fair tackle, I think that’s something we must also try because we are trying to keep up with the game and make sure we keep up with the laws.”
Stick did not comment on the video, but centre Damian de Allende was asked if he had been doing a similar training drill.
“No, but we did speak about it," De Allende responded.
“Obviously there was a lot of hype about the tackle. It is what it is, that’s World Rugby’s problem. If that is right, we should also start tackling like that. There was nothing wrong with the tackle so we can also start doing that.”
Immediately after the loss against England, Erasmus said: "We should start tackling like that and execute it like that. Nothing upset me about the tackle we just have to latch on that if it is legal, it is effective. Tackle a guy like Andre and stop him in his tracks is some going. There is no sarcasm at all."
Erasmus will name his line-up on Thursday, with Saturday’s Test scheduled for 22:05 (SA time).