Rugby World Cup-winning forward Mark Andrews says the Springboks made England look average in Saturday’s barnstorming 32-12 World Cup final win in Yokohama.
The Bok forwards were hugely impressive and gave their England counterparts no inch in what Andrews termed a “complete” performance.
Andrews‚ who played the bulk of his 77 Tests as a lock‚ played at No 8 in the 1995 World Cup final SA won 15-12 against New Zealand.
“It [SA’s win in Japan on Saturday] was as perfect as England’s performance was against the All Blacks last week. I’ve seldom seen a top side being demolished like England demolished the All Blacks. What England did to the All Blacks‚ SA did to England. They made them look like an average team‚” he said.
“Games are won and lost in the tight five. They set a platform for the team to win.”
Andrews said England did expect to be hassled by the Springboks and that the game they missed against France would have given them answers in regards to the real strength of their pack. England’s pack dominated Australia and New Zealand in the play-off games‚ but came horribly unstuck against SA.
“England didn’t play against the French pack because of the typhoon and that game would’ve given them an idea of how strong they really were. The All Blacks are a confident pack‚ but they haven’t got the talent of the Springboks.
“England hadn’t been tested and when they faced the All Blacks‚ they had to win that game to get to the final‚ while the All Blacks thought they’d just get to the final‚” Andrews said.
“England played their final last week‚ but in the Springboks they met a side that was bigger‚ stronger and quicker on the outside than they were.
“We brutalised the English pack and made them look like an average side. The Boks went back to their strengths in terms of forwards and the backs were great.
“Oddly‚ SA moved the ball more than they did in any other game. That caught England by surprise. We had them at sixes and sevens‚ while England expected box kicks.”
Andrews said he has eaten humble pie in regards to Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.
“I’ll be honest‚ I wasn’t sold on Rassie when he was made coach because of his tendency to over-coach. He tried to control everything as a coach, but he’s matured.
“When I was handing out Bok jerseys last year‚ what Rassie impressed on was that as a Bok player you must ask for no favours and give no favours‚” he said.