Pollard, who kicked 22 points to guide the Springboks to victory over England in the World Cup final in Japan four years ago, booted four conversions from four attempts and slipped right back into the groove after a 13-month absence.
The 29-year-old was initially ruled out of this World Cup in France with a niggling calf injury, but returned to competitive action earlier this month with his English club Leicester.
He then received a call-up as a replacement for Marx, Erasmus spurning the idea of summoning a specialist hooker as back up to Bongi Mbonambi, instead relying on squad members Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden, prinicipally backrow forwards.
Pollard did not feature in last week’s 13-8 defeat by Ireland but the failure of South Africa’s two goalkickers Manie Libbok and scrum-half Faf de Klerk in that match had increased the calls for the fly-half’s return to the team.
“I enjoyed it very much, it was so much fun. Just on a personal note it was nice to play again and I enjoyed myself out there,” said Pollard, whose only game time with Leicester was 30 minutes in the Premiership Cup.
Returning to the squad, he added, “has been a crazy rollercoaster”.
“There have been extreme lows, of course, early on and extreme highs to get recalled so really just great to be back in the environment with the boys.
“Hopefully I’ll contribute as much as I can in whatever role that may be, I am just here to help the team succeed and I am excited.”
Pollard was instrumental as South Africa ran out 49-18 winners over Tonga in Marseille, a bonus-point victory that puts them on the brink of the quarter-finals but not quite mathematically there.
“It’s out of our hands. We have got to prep for whoever we play and if we don’t play that is how the game goes,” he said, with Pool B to be determined after Ireland take on Scotland in Paris on Saturday.
“We played the game out there and we tried our best. We have just got to wait and see what happens next.”
Great for kicking unit
Pollard was quick to praise Libbok, who kicked a couple of tough conversions after coming on as a replacement with 30 minutes to play.
“Manie kicked extremely well when he came on. I think it’s a great thing as a kicking unit,” Pollard said.
“There has been a lot of heat on us for that but after that we can take this forward with a lot of confidence.”
Libbok expressed his relief at an improvement in his goal kicking.
“It’s something I worked on really hard in the past week or so. I’m just happy that it came off nicely today. Handre also kicked very well,” he said.
“In everything we work together. Handre is a world-class fly-half and player. I’ve learned a lot from him, he helped me a lot in terms of the game itself. For me it’s nice to work with him and learn from the best.”
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said it had been important that Pollard “got 50 minutes against a proper Tonga side that has got better as the tournament has gone on”.
“I think he will just get better. I think he was solid. You look at his ball carries — that was decisive and good. His defence, I thought his level changed well and he put some proper shoulder hits in.
“I thought his off-the-ball work was good and his kicking game in general was good. The fundamentals (for which) we wanted him to tick the boxes, I think he ticked.”