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Relieved Rassie takes the good and bad in Boks win

REACTION: It was a case of taking the good with the bad for Springbok head coach Rassie Erasmus following his team’s win over Ireland for the first time in eight years.

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The Springboks scored three tries for their 27-20 win at a packed Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The back-to-back World Cup champs had a terrific start with wing Kurt-Lee Arendse scoring the first try in the third minute of the match.

Although the hosts never relinquished the lead, Erasmus’ men had a few nervy moments, especially in the late stages when Ireland scored two late tries to narrow the deficit to seven.

“There were some good and some bad moments for both teams,” Erasmus said following the win in Pretoria.

“You can see they [Ireland] are the team that has played together in the Six Nations, while we’ve not been together for a very long time

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“But then I thought there were some brilliant moments and some also awful moments which we know we have to work on.

“I can’t talk for Ireland, but I know they are a class team. They will come out firing to draw the series next week in Durban.

“The last three games between us have been three points and to beat them with seven eventually, no matter if it’s a home or away, it’s a relief.”

Erasmus added: “As a group from 2018, Ireland is a team we’ve had zero success rate with and the next worst record is against New Zealand – which is a 50 percent record – and they’ve really had our number.

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“And there were instances where they came back so strongly and if they didn’t have one or two big injuries the game would have been much tighter.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a monkey off our back but it’s a really good competitive team, who are number two in the world, and any day they can step up and beat you and be number one.”

The Springboks’ desire to evolve their attack was evident on Saturday.

They created plenty of try-scoring opportunities and tested the Irish defence.

There will be concerns for lack of execution. However, coach Erasmus believes that is part of the growing pains of the new plan under attack coach Tony Brown.

“I hope people can see we’re trying to develop our attacking game with the foundation that Felix [Jones] laid,” Erasmus said.

“With Tony [Brown] we’re trying to step up a little in certain areas and with that comes mistakes and lack of cohesion.

“I know at stages that didn’t happen, but then again they [Ireland] are not No. 2 for nothing, their defensive system is really sound.

“It was a very stop-start game, there was a two-minute delay here with either an injury or someone getting treated – it was nobody’s fault – but for both teams it hampered momentum.”

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