Cape Town – Former coach Nick Mallett has urged the
Springboks to “have a crack” and attempt to show off some new dimensions when
they tackle Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday (16:30 SA time).
Speaking on the SuperSport rugby programme Boots & All,
the outspoken Mallett said it remained all too apparent that the preferred Bok
method was use of “the battering ram and broadsword rather than the rapier ...
we don’t use line-breaks”.
He felt the time was right to broaden their battle-plan at
Murrayfield against a team ranked ninth in the world.
“If you’re not going to have a go at a team like Scotland
then when are you? Against sides that can match us physically, we have got to
show that we do have backline moves to score tries ... (and demonstrate) a bit
While welcoming incumbent coach Heyneke Meyer’s inclusion of
Juan de Jongh at outside centre, Mallett said he would have liked to see him go
further by trying out Jaco Taute at fullback and Lwazi Mvovo at left wing and
then giving them a licence for some enterprise.
“If you are going to pick (Pat) Lambie at flyhalf, why ask
him to kick up-and-unders? Let him attack the gain-line and try to get somebody
like De Jongh into gaps.
“By staying so structured, you might as well carry on with
(Morne) Steyn who is good at that tactical kicking.”
Mallett, whose late-1997 Bok side ran riot 68-10 at
Murrayfield, said Scotland were probably of similar ability to the Irish side
the Boks came from behind against to beat 16-12 in Dublin last weekend.
“We can play an awful lot better than we did against
Ireland, and hopefully win by 10 to 15 points.
“They can’t shout from the rooftops about (last Saturday’s
victory) ... it was a shocking first half against a not particularly strong
team and in the second, give them credit, the Boks were far more disciplined,
(albeit) without attacking rugby.
“These are desperate times if we can’t be favourites against
a team ranked ninth or 10th.”
Mallett agreed that a bright aspect of the turnaround
against the Irish was the performance off the bench of Leinster-based loosehead
prop Heinke van der Merwe.
“I’ve always thought he was a fantastic scrummager, and he
was unluckly a couple of years back to have his way blocked by Beast
(Mtawarira) and Gurthro (Steenkamp).
“JC Janse van Rensburg of the Lions has been unlucky too; he
scrummed outstandingly and gave every tighthead in the Currie Cup a lot of
trouble, and in Super Rugby too.
“We are very fortunate at present to have lots of fine
looseheads, if you throw in young (Steven) Kitshoff as well.”
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