British & Irish Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy wants Rassie Erasmus to raise issues through 'appropriate channels'

South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus has faced criticism after questioning refereeing decisions via social media. Ashley Vlotman/Sportsfile via Getty Images

British & Irish Lions assistant coach Steve Tandy believes South Africa's Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, should direct complaints about rough play from the tourists through the appropriate channels rather than social media.

Erasmus retweeted a video from Saturday's first Test that he says shows Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe being taken out in the air, landing on his back and being forcefully lifted to his feet by Lions prop Mako Vunipola before medical personnel could attend to him. He called Vunipola's actions "reckless and dangerous".

"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 [medics]," Erasmus said in his tweet.

Vunipola addressed Erasmus' comments in a press conference on Monday, when he rejected the South African's claim.

"I remember trying to get the ball in but I saw that he'd gone down," Vunipola said.

"In the heat of the moment, you react how you would normally. He seemed to be alright, he played on in the game, so it wasn't that reckless, was it?

"I guess if he was really hurt then it was a bit reckless, but I just felt like the collision wasn't that bad.

"If I did hurt him then I do apologise."

Erasmus, who coached the Boks to the Rugby World Cup title in 2019, last week tweeted videos showing what he claimed was foul play from the Lions.

"It is his viewpoint, we thought the officials did a good job at the weekend, and if there is anything we need to bring up we will go through the appropriate channels," Tandy said on Monday.

"We just have to worry about we do and do our talking on the field. Rassie's comments are his own. We are just focusing on what we need to tidy up to make sure we are nice and clean about how we go about things."

Tandy said there was a danger that games would go on too long if every piece of potential foul play were analysed by the Television Match Official.

"We don't want the games going on forever," he said.

"It is the major calls you want to get right, and spend the appropriate time on them. But the little bits...for the officials there are so many things going on in a game.

"As a team it is about micro-analysing the match [afterwards]; we do that ourselves. But it is then about raising the ones [foul play] that are relevant through the appropriate channels."

The Lions won the bruising first Test 22-17 in Cape Town, and will meet the Boks at the same venue in the second game of the three-match series on Saturday.