AUDIO: More questions about Garces 'no-show'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: South Africa assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot stopped short of calling for a formal inquiry, but admitted they will raise some issues.
Proudfoot was addressing the media in the wake of Springboks’ 13-23 loss to the All Blacks at the weekend, said they will follow the normal channels to raise their concerns.
Many issues have been raised about the performance of French referee Jerome Garces in Yokohama at the weekend.
Social media was littered with clips of mistakes with Graces, wihich seemed to favour the Kiwis.
The forwards coach, Proudfoot, said he was impressed with many aspects of his side’s game against New Zealand, particularly how his pack stood up to the world-class All Black outfit at set-piece time.
“They’re a clever side. I thought they brought something different to the game, than what they did in the past. Especially on our ball, they were quite smart,” he said.
“On their ball, I very proud of what our pack did. The two hookers lead that department very well, and we put them under a lot of pressure on their ball.
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“They got the two penalties on our ball, after a few resets. But the teams are going to evolve and develop, so we’ve learnt our lesson from the new challenge that they brought. And I’m sure they will move on from that the next time we play them, and so will we.”
In an opening 20-minute period the Springboks looked to have the upper hand over the New Zealand front row as three scrums collapsed and on a fourth, the All Black pack was sent backward, popping up as the scrum disintegrated. The refs turned a blind eye, however, allowing play to continue every time without going to the whistle.
When questioned whether South Africa will speak with match officials about the scrum penalties, Proudfoot said he is ‘sure’ Rassie will bring various issues forward.
“I’m sure that our Director of Rugby [coach Rassie Erasmus] will have various aspects that he will address after every game.
“I think both side always address certain issues and there are varied issues after every game that we will address.
“That’s why I say that Frans [Malherbe] was pretty good. He put his opposition under pressure, and that’s going to happen in games – where the one prop gets the rub over the other.”
* Meamwhile Thomas du Toit will arrive in Japan on Tuesday, and will have no trouble slotting into the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup set-up.
The Sharks prop has been called into the squad to replace Trevor Nyakane, who tore a calf muscle in Saturday’s Pool B opener against New Zealand.
Nyakane’s injury is certainly a big blow to the Springboks, who lacked physicality during the 13-23 defeat to the All Blacks.
“Trevor has had a tremendous season,” he said. “He has worked incredibly hard; he has made the transition into a seriously competitive international tighthead and he is a great guy in the group.
“It’s really sad for him. He is a guy who is going to be missed; we wish him well. He has been given instructions to get himself right and who knows what can happen down the track.”
“I feel for Trevor, but we’ll welcome Thomas; we trust him – he is a big man with a big engine so he will be a good asset as well.”
Du Toit has kept in shape on a short term loan to Cheslin Kolbe’s French club, Toulouse, and was on South Africa’s standby list.
“Thomas is someone who has been with us for a period of time in the build-up,” said Proudfoot.
“He can play both sides [of the scrum], which was important in our decision. Trevor fulfilled that role for us so it was important to have someone who could play both sides.
“Thomas’ evolution to be able to play both roles is quite well developed and we have a lot of trust and faith that he will bring his own skillsets to the game.
“He is a very good ball carrier; he is good over the ball; a good defender and brings lots of energy; he is very powerful on the loosehead side; very strong on the tighthead side so we’ve got great cover in for Trevor.”
Hooker Bongi Mbonambi admitted he is going to miss his roommate.
“He worked very hard to earn the respect that everyone gives him and has earned the right to be here. He’s going to be missed by the whole team.
“He’s the kind of guy who will walk into a serious meeting with a bright smile that light up the whole room.
“I’m going to miss him as a teammate and as a roommate.
“But it’s part of the sport. We’ve got a World Cup to focus on and that will continue,”
The Springboks play Namibia at the City of Toyota Stadium on Saturday, with Du Toit likely to come into selection reckoning as the ‘fifth prop in the squad behind Frans Malherbe and Vincent Koch on the tighthead side, and Steven Kitshoff and Tendair Mtawarira on the loosehead.