Cape Town - Former coach Nick Mallett says the Springboks’ win over France in Pretoria was one of the better performances under the guidance of head coach Allister Coetzee.
The Boks started their 2017 season on a high note when they thumped the French 37-14 at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night.
“That was one of the best performances of Allister Coetzee’s Bok tenure. Well done to him and his coaching staff. There was much more intensity in defence and we showed variety on attack,” Mallett said in the SuperSport studio after the game.
Mallett also lauded the impact made by assistant coaches Brendan Venter (defence and exits) and Franco Smith (attack and skill).
“Brendan Venter has a strong personality, and quite clearly the defensive rigour and how comfortable we were clearing our lines, came from him. We held France outright at the end. Admittedly this French side tried too many offloads, but they were put under pressure by our defence,” Mallett said.
“I thought our defensive pressure when they had the ball in hand was very good and well executed. The guys were on their feet quickly, which gave us width on defence. Having made the tackle, our first and second defenders would get up and move back into position quickly."
Regarding Smith's impact, the former Springbok and Italy coach said: “On attack, Franco Smith has had more time to work with the players to get a sort of width to our game, which allows Elton (Jantjies) to play the same game as he does at the Lions. We had width from our forwards off No 9, we had a variety from Elton at 10, they moved the ball around well and our wings got decent ball possession. We scored four excellent tries and had three or four other opportunities, especially from Elton’s offence kicks that didn’t go to hand and that on another day might have done. The decision-making by Elton was outstanding.”