Boks in UK

Mallett: Have a crack, Boks

2012-11-16 14:01
Nick Mallett (AFP)
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 of deception.”

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.”

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

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