Drew Mitchell said on social media that he does not understand the fuss about the Springboks’ substitutes’ bench against the All Blacks at Twickenham.
Willie le Roux received a bump in the ribs in the run-up to the World Cup warm-up match and his place on the substitutes’ bench was taken by Kwagga Smith.
The Springboks therefore had seven forwards and one back as the team’s reserve force and on a night where the forwards wielded the scepter in their eventual victory of 35 – 7, things then worked out perfectly for the South Africans.
“People only complain because it worked. If things had gone wrong, no rooster would have crowed about it,” the former winger tweeted.
According to Mitchell, who represented the Wallabies in 71 Tests, the Springboks simply displayed their strengths on the international stage. Something any rugby team would probably want to do.
“Rather try to find a way to neutralize it than to complain about it,” he concluded.
Mitchell’s response follows Matt Williams’ dissatisfaction with the Boks’ bench strength. According to the former Scotland coach, the South Africans abused the substitutes’ bench, as it were.
“Seven forwards on the bench; are you serious World Rugby needs to make its voice heard on this,” Williams said in a Monday Night Rugby podcast.
“The Springboks suddenly replaced their entire pack of forwards against New Zealand. The only counter to that is to say that three recognized back players are a requirement on the substitutes’ bench.”
French get Danty setback
Jonathan Danty, the strong French centre, may miss the Roosters’ opening match against the All Blacks due to injury.
The 30-year-old fullback, who tips the scales at 110kg, injured his hamstring in France’s warm-up game against Australia.
While L’Equipe reports that Danty will definitely be watching the action from the sidelines, RugbyRama believes that he may still be available.
The French medical team will monitor his progress and a final decision on his match fitness will be made closer to the showdown.
France are already without the services of the exciting Romain Ntamack after the flyhalf suffered a knee injury.