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Rassie’s Boks are ‘rugby’s innovators’

The Springboks should be seen as fascinating innovators rather than rugby’s bad guys for using Rassie Erasmus’ wily tactics, writes OLIVER BROWN.

Erasmus has got the rugby world talking by pulling out a couple of interesting plays before and during the World Cup in France.

After fielding a 7-1 split between replacement forwards and backs in the warm-up win over the All Blacks at Twickenham, Erasmus caught the attention of the cameras by communicating from the coaches box using coloured lights in South Africa’s opening World Cup victory against Scotland.

MORE: All Blacks shade Rassie’s lights

Writing for The Telegraph in the UK, Brown argues the narrative that Erasmus is taking rugby on a path to destruction is the wrong way to look at his innovations.

“Reactions to the Springboks’ latest antics have been evenly split between mockery and admiration. But few could deny, in light of the brutal efficiency of their opening World Cup win, that visual cues represented a smart approach to deploy,” Brown wrote.

“It was a febrile atmosphere inside Stade de Marseille, with the noise amplified by the dramatic contours of the building, rendering any verbal communication futile. The only option, South Africa felt, was for coaches with an elevated view of the pitch to bring out the bright lights.

“Piece by piece, they are building an unsurpassed reputation for ingenuity. Eddie Jones is among those sincere in his respect for their adoption of novelties that could look, to the untrained eye, like gimmickry.

“It was striking, for example, when they unveiled a 7-1 split between forwards and backs for their match against New Zealand at Twickenham. But given that the supremacy of their pack is their hallmark, and that they wound up beating New Zealand by 28 points, it seems a trick worthy of emulation.”

Full column

Photo: Shaun Roy/BackpagePix

The post Rassie’s Boks are ‘rugby’s innovators’ appeared first on SA Rugby magazine.

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