Cape Town - Before the Springboks can harbour thoughts of competing with the All Blacks, they must first establish themselves as the world’s second best team, former coach Nick Mallett has said.
Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio following the weekend’s Rugby Championship action.
The Springboks were made to toil hard for a 30-23 victory over Argentina in Nelspruit, while the All Blacks annihilated the Wallabies 42-8 in Sydney.
“This weekend has shown us that New Zealand are 10 to 20 points better any other team in the world, including England, who are justifiably second because of those three wins against the Wallabies,” Mallett said.
The Springboks are currently third on the official World Rugby rankings, behind England and New Zealand, but according to Mallett there’s not a big difference between the rest of the bunch.
“At the moment South Africa are in a batch of teams with Australia, Argentina, Ireland, Wales and France, who are all fairly close. On any day the Boks can win and on any day they can beat us. What Allister Coetzee has to do is take us out of that group and make us the second best in the world,” he said.
“Ireland gave us trouble, Argentina gave us trouble and will do so again next week and when we play against Australia we are going to be in difficulty. Before we can start saying we are going to beat New Zealand, let’s get ourselves away from these other teams first.”