Rassie Erasmus has been carrying water on the sidelines in the Lions series

Credit: GETTY IMAGES

South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has launched yet another social-media outburst, accusing British and Irish Lions loosehead prop Mako Vunipola of acting in a “reckless and dangerous” manner towards Cheslin Kolbe during the first Test.

On Monday morning, capping a weekend of curious Twitter activity, Erasmus posted an annotated clip suggesting that referee Nic Berry and his officials missed more foul play from the Springboks’ opponents.

The video shows Lions scrum-half Ali Price bumping into Kolbe, the South Africa wing, as the latter jumped to gather a second-half high ball. Vunipola then arrived on the scene and pulled Kolbe to his feet.

“Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!!,” reads the post. “More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!! Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, its reckless and dangerous!”

Using two emojis, Erasmus then seems to implore Vunipola to leave this to medical staff and tags in the official accounts of South Africa, the Lions and governing body, World Rugby.

It followed a peculiar exchange between Erasmus and a Twitter account named ‘Jaco Johan’, with the handle @thenosyone987, on Sunday evening.

Erasmus had initially replied to the Lions’ official account after Saturday’s first Test, which ended in a 22-17 loss for South Africa, outlining that he had “no excuses” and that the victory was “well deserved”.

Cheslin is obviously played in the air and clearly not direct into touch!!More importantly for youngsters watching this clip!!!! Please never move or touch an injured player on the ground, its reckless and dangerous! Leave this to the 🏥 🙏🏼@WorldRugby @Springboks @lionsofficial pic.twitter.com/lEcp5L4PBf

— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) July 26, 2021

The ‘Jaco Johan’ account replied on Sunday saying: “Respect your attitude in defeat, but there were some questionable calls. I’ll highlight a few.” An accompanying video detailed incidences such as Tom Curry’s late tackle on Faf de Klerk and Hamish Watson’s tip-tackle on Willie Le Roux.

Edited to include pauses with yellow circles highlighting the controversial moments, the video was in a very similar style to the one tweeted by Erasmus’ verified account, @RassieRugby. Eramus replied: “Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes the calls go for you and other times they don’t.”

‘Jaco Johan’ had only tweeted once previously, to publish a video highlighting two potential acts of foul play by Owen Farrell in the tour match between the Lions and South Africa A last week.

Set up in April 2016, the account did like a tweet from the official Munster Twitter account in November of that year, while Erasmus and South Africa head coach were working for the Irish province.

New Zealander Ben O’Keeffe, an assistant referee in Cape Town on Saturday, is due to take charge of the second Test this weekend.