Mallett compares Newlands derby to Kiwi duel

    2017-02-27 06:44

    Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett compared Saturday night’s South African Super Rugby clash between the Stormers and Bulls to that of a New Zealand derby.

    The Stormers outclassed the Bulls 37-24 in an exciting clash which saw nine tries being scored in front of a decent Newlands crowd.

    “This was a wonderful game to watch. I really enjoyed the enterprise from both teams, combined with solid defence and the skills from the backline payers. It reminded me much more of two New Zealand teams playing than two old South African teams,” Mallett said in the SuperSport studio afterwards.

    “The Stormers deserved to win, but there are a lot of positives for both teams. The Stormers played a fast-paced game, but with a very good set piece. They were disrupting the lineouts and exceptional at scrum time, which set up the attacking play they showed,” Mallett continued.

    “The front rows were always going to make a big difference in this game. Unfortunately, the Bulls front row was murdered by the Stormers. The Stormers’ scrum dominance set up that unassailable 24-0 lead at half-time. Another area where the Stormers improved is at the breakdown. They were outstanding and just look like a much more rounded team.”

    It was a tough night for Bulls captain and flyhalf Handre Pollard, who was forced into several errors under pressure, Mallett noted.

    “Handre Pollard referred to unforced errors after the game. I think the Stormers forced them into making those mistakes. The poor clearance kicks by Pollard, players losing the ball in contact and looking rushed when in possession, that all came from aggressive Stormers defence.

    “It was an error-strewn performance by the Bulls, because the back got low-quality ball from the forwards. They will regret their start, but will reflect on the last 20 minutes and realise they can score good tries. They will just have to work on their set-piece.”

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