Kriel caught Dempsey high in the first minute of the Pool B game and Scotland coach Gregor Townsend later expressed his frustration that the incident was not referred to the television match official a day after a seemingly similar offence by England's Tom Curry earned a TMO red card upgrade against Argentina.
The incident could be referred to a disciplinary hearing but Erasmus said he didn’t expect that to happen and made the bizarre claim that there hadn’t been direct head contact when video replays seemed to suggest otherwise.
“We are really comfortable; there hasn’t been a citing. I’m pretty sure there won’t be a citing," Erasmus told South African journalists.
“If it isn’t direct head contact - and it wasn’t, it was tackled on the ball and then he moved up after tackling on the ball. I've seen a few stills where people just [show] after direct contact to the ball. If you took it a millisecond or a second or two back, you'll see that he clearly tackled on the ball. So we're very happy with how it was refereed.”
The match referee was Angus Gardner of Australia and the TMO was Ben Whitehouse of Wales. Townsend was frustrated by the apparent inconsistency.
“It did look like head on head and I was expecting TMO to come in,” said the Scotland coach. “There are still inconsistencies when there has been a head contact. We're frustrated with that but we are more frustrated with our own performance.”
South Africa won 18-3 meaning Scotland will almost certainly have to win their remaining three pool games, against Tonga, Romania and Ireland, if they are to finish in the top two and qualify for the quarter-finals.