It’s about time Bok fans started apologising
It is fair to say all the questions surrounding the Springboks’ selection policy over the last month were answered yesterday against Ireland in Paris. And they weren’t good answers if you’re a Bok fan.
There were questions over a lack of a world-class kicker in the initial squad and that proved to be the undoing of the side and the Stade de France. Then there were questions over not replacing Malcolm Marx with another hooker. That well and truly did not pay off against Ireland. Then there were also questions about the 7-1 split on the bench. That was also something that let the world champions down, or at least didn’t give them the ascendancy they would have hoped for.
Anyone who’s questioned some of these decisions over the past month has done so at their peril though, as they have probably been met by an army of angry Bok fans defending every decision that Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber have made regardless of how inane and left field they have increasingly become . At the back of everyone’s mind though was the fact that Erasmus did guide the Boks to World Cup glory in 2019 and then a Lions series two years later. But some of the decisions he has made recently have crossed the line from rugby genius to outright lunacy. I mean, anyone could have told you that starting arguably the biggest game for the Boks in the last two years without a recognised hooker on the bench was always going to spell disaster, and it did as their line out faltered in the latter stages.
Is about time that all of those fans who have defended Erasmus and Nienaber over the last month apologised and accepted that maybe the coaching duo have got a few things wrong.
Of course, the kicking problem can be easily solved by starting Handre Pollard in future matches, which is likely to happen. Then again he is only in the squad as a replacement for Marx, so that doesn’t really resolve the hooker issue.
There will be plenty of Bok fans that will continue to defend some of these decisions made, but that is harder to do after Saturday.
Here’s what Nienaber said after the match: