Rassie Erasmus, head of South African Rugby, opened up on Monday about what he thinks could possibly happen on Saturday when Ireland and Scotland meet to determine who advances to the quarter-finals of this year’s Rugby World Cup tournament.
The Springboks have 15 points after four games, compared to Ireland’s 14 and Scotland’s ten. According to Erasmus, a series of scenarios could play out after Saturday’s match.
“If Scotland beats the Irish by eight or more points, and Ireland doesn’t get a bonus point, Ireland is out,” says Erasmus. “If all three teams have collected 15 points after Saturday’s game, the team that won its games with the biggest difference in points will go through. If it’s Scotland, we’re out because Ireland won us.”
For that to happen, says Erasmus, however, Scotland must score four tries against Ireland and win by more than 20 points. Ireland must also get a bonus point.
“However, if Ireland win by the biggest points difference, we will go through because we beat Scotland.”
Depending on how many the Springboks finish in the group, they will play the 14th or 15th.
However, Erasmus is satisfied that the Springboks did everything in their power to get through. “We now have the opportunity to prepare for the different scenarios. Some of us will prepare for a match against the All Blacks, others for a match against France and Italy.”
He also believes the Boks achieved what they wanted in their game against Tonga.
“Our goal was to get 50 points. We knew that sometimes the game would not flow well because we rotated our players, but the most important thing for us was to win the game.”
Nor is he at all envious of Ireland. “I would much rather be in this position than be in Ireland’s shoes. They are number one in the world, but Scotland have to beat them by just eight points and they are out of the World Cup.”