Cheetahs aren’t cheating

Rassie Erasmus has once again dismissed claims that he is using illegal tactics to rotate his props during matches.

Erasmus was criticised for taking CJ van der Linde off early in the first half, only to bring him back on for Jannie du Plessis. The coach also replaced Wian du Preez with Os du Randt in the second half.

“I was merely responding to a situation as it unfolds,” said Erasmus. “I had no intention to switch my props but the conditions I was presented with on match day forced my hand.

“CJ van der Linde is suffering from a foot condition which makes it difficult for him to run or play on hard fields because this results in an inflamed toe. But with all the rain and us training on a soft field the team doctors informed me I could probably get 20 to 30 minutes out of him.

“Trevor Leota had been struggling with a calf problem but the medical opinion was also that he would be able to play. This gave me a chance to confront the Bulls in the forwards so I decided to start with CJ and Trevor.

“The situation however forced a set of circumstances on me when Jannie du Plessis suffered a cut to his eyebrow shortly after coming on to the field and CJ had to go back.

“In the course of the match Leota’s injury began to flare up but it had always been my intention to replace Wian du Preez with Os du Randt. It’s something all coaches do.

The reaction of certain coaches and media has stunned Erasmus, who claims his tactics are all part of the game.

“I really don’t understand why people should question this. We might have been practising to play a kicking game in wet weather and then suddenly be confronted by a dry field. In this instance I would make a change, or vice versa.

“According to the rules of the competition I have to confirm my starting squad to the match officials only 30 minutes before the kick-off and if I need to respond to a changing situation I will.”