Nick gives his take on SA Teams

March 16, 2014
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Nick Mallett EnglandFormer Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had this to say on SuperSport about the South African franchises’ performances this weekend.

ON THE LIONS

There was great variety in attack and flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff again played very well. He was calm and his option-taking was good. Boshoff has kicked several drop goals in the first month of the season and against the Blues he kicked a couple more. Drop goals, like the ones Boshoff kicks, are near impossible to defend.

The Lions scrum was very good in the first half and their set piece was dominant and accurate. They also showed enterprise and were prepared to risk, especially just before half-time when they tapped and ran from a regulation penalty and turned the probable three points into a well-taken seven points.

They led 20-0 at one stage and you did not think the Blues would get back into the game. Butt New Zealand teams believe they can beat our teams in the final 10 minutes and they scored five tries in the last 20 minutes. Fortunately the Lions also scored in that period, but it was touch and go.

The Lions, on the first 60 minutes, will know it should never have been that that close in the end. Still, few would have predicted a Lions win [given the last time they beat the Blues was in 2006] and it was a fantastic result for the home team. They now have three wins from five and this is another of those Lions campaign starts few would have anticipated or predicted.’

ON THE SHARKS

The Reds in the first half were trying to play a territorial game because that is how the Sharks play it. But they did not succeed. They did not take their opportunities whereas the Sharks took every penalty available and scored a fantastic first-half try. The knock-on from Reds centre Mike Harris, when all he had to do was catch the ball and fall over the tryline on the stroke of half-time, was very costly. Instead of trailing 25-13 at half-time they trailed 25-6.

The Reds played better in the second half but the conditions [humid which made the ball difficult to handle] meant a lot of ball was spilled. The Sharks had too much of a cushion at half-time and credit to the side’s conditioning and ability to close out a game that they finished strongly and scored a second try in the final minute.

The Sharks were deserved winners and they have done particularly well to get four wins from four starts. They played the percentages well and were comfortable to back themselves to be dominant defensively and to turn playing without the ball into an advantage in conditions that make it difficult for the ball carrier.

The Sharks have four from four and two bonus points from a possible four. They are without doubt the best of the South African teams in the competition and I believe they will add an expansive and attacking dimension to their game when they play away from home in conditions that make attacking rugby that much easier.’

ON THE CHEETAHS

This was one of their worst performances in some time. They have been poor all season but against the Hurricanes they were shocking. There was no defence, no kicking game and they played too laterally, and when you play like that against a New Zealand side with a good back three and an attacking mindset you will get punished.

The Cheetahs last season surprised everyone with their discipline, defence and intensity, but this season has been the complete opposite and they are having a horror tour.’

ON THE STORMERS

To concede 14 points in the last three minutes when a five-pointer would have won them the game was the most disappointing aspect of their performance.

They showed fighting spirit to get back into the game at 24-20 after trailing 24-6 and then they gave it away in those last three minutes. The way they lost it is what will really hurt them as a team that still has two tour matches.’

Source: SA Rugby MAG

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10 Comments

  1. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Boshoff looking the goods with Venter and a dominant pack…

  2. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I wonder if HM has Boshoff in his sights?
    What will he be like playing in a top team?

    Jannie de Beer showed the value of drop goals.
    The Boks have no one of Boshoff’s ability.
    Come WC 2015 this can be of immense value.

    He has now succeeded with 29/31 of his kicks
    at the poles too.

  3. avatar Americano says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    Question:
    How would having a #10 who is ace at dropgoals open up holes in the defense vs a non-DG-threat @ 10?

    I like DG. if its just not on for some reason down there take a shot. If missed likely get ball back to have another go.

    Boertje have you visualized Boshoff on field with shining light of SA rugby….Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux?

  4. avatar DavidS says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    Interesting… Boshoff drops into the pocket and the oppo ruck and close defenders obsess on the charge down and BANG flat pass to lurking WLR

  5. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Boshoff is doing well granted, but Both Morne and Francois Steyn can do droppies, and they have major experience at the highest level.

    Our depth is more than sufficient @ 10, we need decent 9′s, because after FdP there isn’t really anybody ells, hence them turning to Ruan Inconsistant Pienaar.

    I’d personally like to see Francois Steyn @ 15 where he has that little bit more time to line up the 65 meter G5 cannon boot of his with either a droppie or a penalty, or he can kick that egg 80 + meters upfield and into touch.

  6. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    @Americano:

    Re your Honey Badger aka as Brussouw:
    I see there’s a Kiwi or Aussie explaining
    how HE got the name. Guy called Cumming.

  7. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    March 17th, 2014 at 1:00 am

    @Boertjie:

    There can be only one Nick Cummins…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlvlwG9jCv4

  8. avatar DavidS says:
    March 17th, 2014 at 8:11 am

    @Welshbok die Brandwag:

    That Faf De Klerk at the Lions is a way different player to what we usually like in a nine post isolation being Joost / Johan Roux / FDP playmakers and tacticians but he reminds of those little sniper types like Serfontein… maybe a switcheroo of tactical calls seeing as the Lions use Boshoff and not the Scrummy to call plays.

  9. avatar Americano says:
    March 17th, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Boertje,
    The HoneyBadger thing started with this youtube & it was the nickname of Tyron Mattheu aka the HoneyBadger. He got the name as a CB for LSU college football team. Guy was really good but got thrown off team after his umpteenth positive test for marijuana, played at some no name school for a year then got picked up by NFL where he was a huge success till he blew an acl.
    Here is the youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

    Quite popular, over 66 million views.
    After seeing what the hell a HoneyBadger is ( like a wolverine or badger in North America) It was OBVIOUS that it’s the perfect nickname for Heinrich Brussouw. I mean….he even looks like that thing.

    In regards to Nick Cummins – He’s an ok player, but a wing & also a dork. Australia is like 10 years behind at everything including funny stuff so they think Cummins is a hoot. Bottomline is he does PDV schtick with a shrimp on barbie accent & fun hair.
    If anything….he’s a squirrel. Certainly no HoneyBadger.

  10. avatar Boertjie says:
    March 17th, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    @Americano:

    :twisted:

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