South Africa assistant coach Deon Davids has said the team are happy with the way the match officials handled Saturday's 27-9 victory over the British & Irish Lions and hit back at those who have said the Springboks' forward-based game-plan was boring.
South Africa’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus had launched a scathing critique of the match officials after a 22-17 defeat in the first Test, creating an extraordinary 62-minute video that is likely to earn him a severe punishment from World Rugby.
It included the accusation that Springbok captain Siya Kolisi had been disrespected by referee Nic Berry, and not treated in the same manner as his Lions counterpart Alun Wyn Jones.
Davids said he believed there was a vast improvement from the officials in the second Test, refereed by New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe, but said he did not know if Erasmus’ tirade played a role.
"I can’t comment on whether it was as a direct result, but all I can say is that we are quite happy in how certain areas of the game that we highlighted were refereed this week," Davids told reporters on Monday.
"There was good communication between the referee and the captain throughout the game, and we were able to express ourselves in the way that we want to and play the type of rugby that we feel is our strength."
The Boks used their forward dominance to bully the Lions into submission in the second half.
New Zealand coach Ian Foster said the style of both teams "put me to sleep", with the Boks having been labelled as "boring" in the past.
"I was not with the team then, but the same narrative was there when the Boks won the (Rugby) Championship in 2019. It was the same when they won the World Cup," Davids said.
"There is always a plan behind everything. When we execute stuff it is not about being 'boring', it is about understanding what we want to achieve.
"In doing that, we created enough opportunities to play with the ball in hand and score tries. I believe in our approach and where it leads us to."
The Boks are sweating on the fitness of flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, scrum-half Faf de Klerk and number eight Duane Vermeulen for the series decider on Saturday. Davids confirmed their availability would be known on Tuesday.
They have added three more players to their squad ahead of the series decider on Saturday and the start of the Rugby Championship against Argentina on 14 August.
Wing Rosko Specman, loose-forward Dan du Preez and uncapped hooker Johan Grobbelaar are the latest additions after the Boks called on rookie scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse and the experienced number eight Duane Vermeulen over the weekend.
They hope to have the latter available for the Lions clash in Cape Town after he has spent the past two months out with an ankle injury.