HomeWorldSpringboks coach Rassie Erasmus criticises Irish fans for World Cup antics

Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus criticises Irish fans for World Cup antics

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SOUTH AFRICA head coach Rassie Erasmus attempted to set the record straight with Ireland in a recent in-house interview.

The Springboks host Ireland this Saturday in a grudge match between the World Cup and Six Nations champions.

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Erasmus prefaces that he does respect the Irish teams and their fans
Eramus and other South African players took issue with Ireland's attitude to last year's World Cup

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Eramus and other South African players took issue with Ireland’s attitude to last year’s World Cup

Erasmus added more fuel to Springbok’s firey war of words with Ireland last week by declaring Andy Farrell’s side as favourites.

He said: “If there’s one team that has the upper hand, it’s them,”

“We haven’t beaten them since 2016.”

Erasmus’ remarks were the latest in a series of Springbok digs levelled at the Irish – with players Eben Etzebeth and Damian de Allende leaving bad reviews after two sides’ meeting last year.

Speaking in episode 1 of the team’s #ForeverGreenForeverGold mini-series on X (formerly known as Twitter), the former Munster coach said: “Contrary to what most people think, I can say nothing bad about the Irish.

“The media likes to hype it up a lot.

“I loved it when I was there.

“The Irish, certainly when I got there, they minded me with my rough Afrikaans accent.

“I learned a hell of a lot when I was there.

“I’m very good friends with most of the players there.

Inside Irish team’s day off in South Africa as Peter O’Mahony beams during staredown with LION at Safari Park-

“I just think sometimes – and I’m going to say it as it is – people are a bit jealous that a country like them with only four, five million people is number one, two in the world.

“They only have 160 professional rugby players.

“When they do really well, they are very proud and outspoken about it.

However, the tone shifts as the video transitions to show a trio of vox-popped Irish fans at their pool-stage win over South Africa at Stade de France last September.

One said: “We’re going to eat them alive, I’m telling you now.”

Another remarked: The blonde hairdo couldn’t do it for ’em, huh?” directed at star scrum-half François de Klerk’s flowing locks.

Another brashly bragged that the Springbok’s patented 7-1 split couldn’t work on them.

Erasmus added: “We could be like ‘Yes, but you guys were full of yourselves. You were a bit windgat (blowing your own trumpet).’

“Now you see.”

Both bookies and fans expected an Ireland-Springbok rematch in the final.

The two teams were considered joint-favourites for the tournament, with both squads considered to be in their respective ‘golden age’.

But Ireland fell shock quarter-final upset at the hands of eventual finalists New Zealand.

The video showcases a distraught Bundee Aki after the loss.

FAIR ENOUGH

However, Erasmus doesn’t fault Irish fans for their pride.

He said: “It’s not something in the Irish culture that’s frowned upon.

“It’s passion. It’s ‘we love our team’.

“It’s ‘listen, if you’re going to come in our way, we’re going to give you some stick.’

“I wouldn’t be too hard on them.

“They’re proud for what they’re achieving.

“They want to be competitive and they rate themselves for the teams up there.”

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