Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick
Mallett says the Wallabies just about deserved their Rugby Championship win
over the Springboks in Brisbane at the weekend.
The Springboks had their hosts on the rack
for an hour of the Test in Brisbane only to give up a 20-7 lead and go down
24-20 when Wallabies centre Tevita Kuridrani scored a try with more than 84
minutes on the clock.
Mallett afterwards commented on the game in
the SuperSport studio.
He said: “I thought we played well for 60
minutes, Jesse Kriel's try was fantastic, and it looked like we had control of
the game. Some of the substitutions made a difference, both the Australian substitutions
and ours. Bismarck (du Plessis) had a wonderful game for 50 minutes and the
substitution there I think was pre-planned to keep players in the mix. But
Bismarck really had a big impact on the game, and the scrum didn't hold up as
well in the last 20 minutes, but I feel that was more because of (Scott) Sio
coming on and Greg Holmes, I thought those two guys scrummed incredibly well.
“The Australians were outstanding, they
missed penalty kicks, but the last 20 minutes they put us under a lot of
pressure with ball in hand and our defence held out, and held out, but there's
a lesson to be learned. You have to be very careful to play out the clock by
using your forwards in little pods off the loose scrums because northern
hemisphere refs don't like it and they look to the side with the ball and their
players for sealing off the ball, and that's exactly what happened. We were
penalised and it gave them (Australia) the opportunity to kick for the corner.
They took a brave decision and got the result they probably deserved in the
end. The call at the end was a very tight one, but I think the correct one.
“I just think he (Kuridrani) rolled over in
the tackle. Schalk (Burger) did his absolute best to get his hand under the
ball, but there is a millisecond there where the ball touches the line. I think
the TMO and the referee handled it as well as they possibly could. It was very
difficult to see initially whether or not he got it down, but just the point of
the ball goes down and just touches the ground."