Give Springboks coaches Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber credit. They have made Springboks rugby lekker rugby, writes Shaheen Daniels.
Erasmus, as head coach and Nienaber as his defensive coach, won the 2019 World Cup. The Springboks were sensational hammering England 32-12 in the final in Japan.
The duo changed roles after the 2019 World Cup. Erasmus invested his core energy into the game as National Director of Rugby and Nienaber was made head coach.
The duo masterminded a brutal 2-1 series win against the British & Irish Lions in 2021 and they have won at Twickenham against England and beat the All Blacks on the Australian Gold Coast and were brilliant in beating the New Zealanders 26-10 in Nelspruit in 2022.
There were narrow defeats to Ireland in Dublin and to France in Marseilles, but Daniels’s view is that as a rugby supporter the duo have built one of the strongest and most enjoyable Springbok squads, and that it was right that they were given six years to do so.
‘I just feel that a lot of people are not giving Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber enough credit for their efforts and commitments. In the past coaches only had four years to prove themselves and the sad thing was that a coach was always told that this is “the previous coaches’ players”. Therefore, I have never enjoyed the rugby as much as I do now, because a group of players are involved and understand their roles. The coaches have faith and trust in the players and want to win a World Cup title back-to-back, because in the past it was difficult due to a one-off four year tenure.
‘Their faith in Manie Libbok speaks for itself, because of the defensive structures and DNA in the current Springbok setup. Rassie did mention in the past it does not help to play expansive rugby and score many tries, whereas you are also leaking tries. Therefore, Manie is needed for the expansive style of play.
‘Not to bad mouth Handré, because he is rock solid and likes to attack the line, however I really thought that they might take a consultant like Swys De Bruin and a kicking coach like Percy Montgomery. However I am just a fan and Rassie and co knows far better. And they have my unconditional support.
‘Springbok rugby is lekker rugby!’