Bok coach hails 'excellent' bomb squad
REACTION: Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber said a better use of his replacements made the difference in his team’s final-round Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks.
The Boks came back from a nine-point deficit in a see-sawing match to beat their arch-rivals 31-29 on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Nienaber replaced the whole front row after 38 minutes and started the second half with Frans Steyn at fullback.
He also gave Elton Jantjies a solid run with the left-footer rewarding him with a well-taken drop goal – his first in green and gold – and the match-winning penalty goal.
“As I mentioned last week, I wanted to use Elton [in the Round Five match against NZ], but then had the injury to Marco van Staden which prevented that as we might have finished the game with 14 players [if Van Staden’s injury worsened],” Nienaber told reporters after the match.
“This time I decided to use them much earlier and I think we were doing much better today in that regard.
“Elton was awesome when he came on, and Frans Steyn was brilliant.
“Willie did some good things, and did make some mistakes, but I wanted to bring in Frans for the 50/22 kicks. He trained well with us and did very well when called upon.”
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‘They emptied their tanks’
Nienaber also explained why he replaced the front row before the half-time whistle.
Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch and Malcolm Marx came onto the field to replace Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane and Bongo Mbonambi.
“We see them as a combination and the minutes played will never be the same.
“The moment we felt the first group has done their job; we will bring on the second group,” Nienaber explained.
“Today they emptied their tanks after 38 minutes and I replaced them when they did their job.
“After last week, I decided we should make use of our subs and I thought they were all excellent tonight.”