Currie Cup

Mallett: Catrakilis was 'metronomic'

2014-10-27 09:41
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has lauded the performance of Western Province flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis after their 19-16 Currie Cup final win over the Golden Lions at the weekend.

As it happened: WP v Golden Lions

Catrakilis had five shots at goal and scored from them all in a thrilling final before a near-capacity crowd at Newlands.

There was never a doubt that his four penalties were going to sail between the posts and he also converted a first-half try from centre Jaco Taute.

But it was a vastly different evening for the two Lions goal-kickers, first choice and flyhalf Marnitz Boshoff and right-wing Ruan Combrinck.

Boshoff fluffed four of seven attempts at goal and Combrinck missed one of two long-range shots.

A post-hooter penalty offered the Lions a chance to draw level and take the final into extra time, but Boshoff watched his angled kick float left and well wide.

Speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, Mallett said the swirling wind at Newlands perhaps proved the undoing of the Lions kickers.

"'In the first half, the Lions kicked against the south easter and they are probably not used to kicking into the wind on the highveld. And those missed kicks cost them the game," said Mallett.

"Any cut or hook on the ball gets over-emphasised. The interesting thing was that Demetri Catrakilis converted all his chances. He was metronomic, it was just a factual three when he kicked the ball. Whereas that last kick with Marnitz Boshoff, I knew he was going to miss it, even though my heart broke for him. Once you've missed three, it's difficult to succeed with such a difficult kick from the touchline, some 40m back. The Lions had created the opportunities to score points, but they didn't profit from it."

Last week, Mallett called for WP to replace Catrakilis with Kurt Coleman for the final. Mallett felt Coleman would get the better out of the WP backline on attack.

But Mallett nevertheless lauded both teams on a spectacular final.

"I thought the two teams created such a special atmosphere today. It was a fantastic afternoon of rugby and a lot of those guys are going to get Super Rugby contracts next year. There was tremendous respect between the sides and nothing close to a yellow card, because the match was beautifully refereed by Craig Joubert."

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