Mallett praises rising stars
London – Barbarians coach Nick Mallett has sung the praises of rising South African flyhalf stars Patrick Lambie and Elton Jantjies ahead of Saturday’s match against the Springboks at Twickenham.
“Lambie had an outstanding Currie Cup final, but his forwards played a big role in that,” Mallett said when quizzed about the brilliant young Sharks player.
“The one try that he scored – the show and go, going by himself and handing off Schalk Burger was great flyhalf play.
“I have seen Jantjies play in the Currie Cup. The way he attacks is very dangerous. He is an elusive flyhalf. Obviously there is a question about size and how he will defend that channel, but it’s actually your system that determines how good your defence is.
“If he understands the system and his role in it, there is no reason that he cannot do very well.”
Mallett is particularly excited about Lambie and believes he was put under a lot of pressure coming on as a substitute in the Test matches.
“They were clearly tempted to start him. He was under a lot of pressure because the game is often still in the balance when you come on with about 20 minutes to go. You can’t weigh up a player’s worth in the last 20 minutes of a game,” said Mallett.
As far as Saturday is concerned, Mallett was quite open about the approach the Barbarians will take.
“We will do the same thing that the Barbarians always do – we will keep the ball in hand and look to score tries,” he said.
Mallett believes the pressure is bigger on the Boks than on the Barbarians.
“The match against England was obviously a bigger one for the Boks than this one. But if they can win a fourth game on tour, they will leave go home with a good feeling. The tour will then be considered a success. The match is probably more important to South Africa than it is for me.”