VIDEO: B&I Lions not taking Rassie's bait
The British and Irish Lions avoid getting dragged into a social media slanging match with South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus.
B&I Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy said they will continue to raise issues through the proper channels and avoid social media channels to voice their concerns.
Erasmus, apart from being the Director of Rugby, also acts as a water boy for the Springboks in the three-Test series that got underway at the weekend.
He caused a social media firestorm when he posted footage of the Boks’ 17-22 loss in the first – highlighting an incident involving replacement prop Mako Vunipola, which he described as “reckless and dangerous” play.
“Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!! More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!!” Erasmus tweeted.
“Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, it’s reckless and dangerous!” Erasmus added.
Erasmus, known to use social media as a tool to air his views, over the weekend he also reacted to a tweet from a person calling himself Jaco Johan, who posted a video of several “questionable calls” by the officials against the Boks.
As part of the retweet, Erasmus adds: “Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they don’t“.
And from his personal account, Erasmus also congratulated the B&I Lions: “No excuses this side!! You are far away from home, families and going through same tough COVID protocols like we do!! Congrats and well deserved !!!”
However, some social media users believe that ‘Jaco Johan‘ and Erasmus – whose real name is Johan Erasmus – are in fact the same person.
They point to the fact the Director of Rugby/Bok water boy uses the same type of graphics – a yellow circle – to highlight the alleged foul play.
(Article continues below …)
Tandy was not taking Erasmus’ bait on Monday, repeatedly telling the media they will “follow the proper channels”.
He said being a “bit of a dinosaur” he is not on Twitter.
“I get lots of hearsay, but ultimately it is his [Erasmus’] viewpoint,” the B&I Lions defence coach told a virtual media briefing, adding that they thought the officials did a really good job.
“If there is anything we need to bring up, we will just go through the proper channels.”
(Article continues below …)
Asked about some of the emotive language used by Erasmus on social media – calling it ‘reckless and dangerous’ – Tandy said they will look at themselves and what they do on the field.
“At the end of the day we do our talking on the field,” the assistant coach said, adding: “Rassie’s comments are his own comments.
“For us it is about focusing on what we are, what we need to tidy up, making sure we are nice and clean.”
He said they should not ‘microanalyse’ the game and rather ensure officials get the “major calls” right.
“It is hard for the officials, because there is so much going on,” Tandy added.
“There has been a lot about what Rassie said, but every team has those moments. Every team can go through micro details and analyse it. We do it ourselves.
“However, it is about going through the appropriate channels, raising the ones that are relevant and not making it about every small detail.
“We need to make sure the big, key moments are the ones that are correct.”
Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!!More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!! Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, its reckless and dangerous! Leave this to the 🏥 🙏🏼@WorldRugby @Springboks @lionsofficial pic.twitter.com/lEcp5L4PBf
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) July 26, 2021
Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they dont https://t.co/ONZp0uoWJF
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) July 25, 2021
— Jaco Johan (@thenosyone987) July 25, 2021
No excuses this side!! You are far away from home, families and going through same tough COVID protocols like we do!! Congrats and well deserved !!!
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) July 24, 2021