Mallett: Great spectacle for SA rugby
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says Saturday’s South African derby between the Stormers and Lions at Newlands was a great spectacle for SA rugby.
The game ended in a thrilling 19-all draw after both teams had crossed the whitewash three times.
Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio after the game, commented:
“It was an absolute pleasure watching those two teams play. There were lots of mistakes in a high-pressure game like that, some handling errors, but you cannot criticise either team for effort. They were both unbelievably enterprising and went hammer and tongs at each other. It's a derby that we can be proud of as a South African rugby nation.
“It was great to see two South African sides have a crack at each other by playing not only a kicking game, a driving game or a forward-orientated game, but also using the outside backs and the back three.”
Mallett also singled out five players who impressed him.
“I thought (Eben) Etzebeth and (Schalk) Burger from the Stormers were absolutely brilliant, and (Warren) Whiteley and (Jaco) Kriel from the Lions. Whiteley has played every single second of every game and his tackle stats are phenomenal. I think he's 40 tackles ahead of the next best.
“The speed with which (Faf) de Klerk gets to the ruck and the quickness of his service has been the really noticeable aspect of his game. He's also incredibly brave and for a little guy he makes some very good tackles. He also put in a couple of good box-kicks today.”