I'm proud of the guys - Erasmus delighted with South Africa's spirit

Rex Christensen
June 14, 2018

South Africa wrenched the first rugby test out of England's hands by coming from 24-3 down with a 26-point burst in 19 minutes to win 42-39 at Ellis Park on Saturday (Sunday morning NZ).

Supporters leaned over the railings and verbally insulted Jones as he walked down the tunnel at the end of the first Test.

He stood his ground for 10-15 seconds before being led away by players and staff. 'We've been waiting a long time to see that from players who are said to be more seasoned, and they haven't got those subtleties right'. "Especially when they win", Jones said after the match.

However, Jones dismissed the incident as just "a little conversation about a bottle of wine" in his post-match press conference.

"Looking back, we probably got out of jail free today, but just as they could have put us away, we could have put them away. We were almost very, very good, so hopefully we can string a few things together and get that 80-minute performance next week", George told reporters.

When asked if he had said anything back, he added: 'Of course I did, [but] it's not for me to share with you'.

"I knew how important this game was to us as a team".

Sale scrum-half Faf de Klerk orchestrated a thrilling fightback that produced two tries for electric debutant wing S'Busiso Nkosi.

Siya Kolisi, who captained the Boks for the first time, said: "I was very nervous as we didn't expect to have such a tough time early in the game, but we have guys who had been in situations like that before".

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England spent a night with snakes and spiders to help take their minds off Saturday's harrowing collapse to South Africa at Ellis Park.

Both teams scored five tries, while South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard kicked 17 points, punishing England in the second half for its high penalty count and kicking a final penalty four minutes from fulltime that was ultimately enough to get South Africa home.

"It was a wonderful game of rugby, but it's not good to sit in the loser's seat".

"Credit to the new caps, because they didn't panic and showed they just wanted to play, so we chose to take control of the game and it worked".

"There were a lot of individual errors that led to the ill-discipline, so first up we've got to be honest with ourselves, brutally honest at times, and hopefully that will lead to coaches not having to say too much". "They played with a lot of courage, spirit and endeavour".

Erasmus is back in the town where he hit the big-time while playing for the Cheetahs and where he started his coaching career.

"Character is something we can take forward and build on‚" said the coach.

Tune into Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 3pm on Saturday June 16 to follow the Rose on England's journey to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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