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15th Sep 2018

‘It was the highlight of my career’ – Rassie Erasmus on Springboks stunning win

Jack O'Toole

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has said that the Springboks upset win over New Zealand on Saturday was the highlight of his coaching career.

Erasmus confirmed that he would be leaving Munster last summer to succeed Allister Coetzee as Director of Rugby at SA Rugby and it did not take long for him to make his mark as the Boks clinched a 2-1 summer series win over England in June.

South Africa then got off to a shaky start in this year’s Rugby Championship after dropping their second game to Argentina and their third game to Australia but they bounced back on Saturday to secure their first win on New Zealand soil since 2009.

Erasmus said that the win was the highlight of his career but that he knew his side were seconds away from a third successive defeat.

“It was the best day of my coaching career, definitely,” said Erasmus.

“We lost two games on the trot as a Springbok team and we were pretty close to losing three in a row and then that puts pressure on the team and takes a lot of the belief away.

“We could have lost this game in the last minute, we’re not foolish, we know this game could have gone totally against us in the last few seconds so we were a bit lucky but we are very relieved and very proud to beat New Zealand in New Zealand.”

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi praised Erasmus for not changing his approach despite successive defeats.

“He’s planning for the World Cup,” said Kolisi.

“That’s the most important thing – he doesn’t change everything when we lose – he just keeps doing the same part. The guys know who is playing when.

“It was a good day for South Africa and the boys but like the coach said we have a lot of work to do.”

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