Cape Town - Former national coach Nick Mallett believes the Springboks face an uphill task in Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks.
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Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after Saturday’s 27-all draw between the Springboks and Wallabies in Bloemfontein.
The Boks host the All Blacks at Newlands this coming Saturday and will be eager to make amends following a 57-0 drubbing in Albany last month.
“Basically what we did was play a similar game as we did against the All Blacks. Fortunately, Australia weren’t good enough to exploit our errors. This game plan will be too dangerous against the All Blacks,” Mallett warned.
“There’s a lot we have to worry about prior to the game against New Zealand next week. It’s important that the Boks get their set-piece right. It’s really worrying that they were so poor at the lineout against the All Blacks a couple of weeks ago. A lot of work has to go into our lineout calls this coming week.
“A tighter game plan, a better set-piece, a good kicking game, and a far better defence are the areas that they need to work on really hard this week. And we need bad weather. If it can rain really hard in Cape Town, it’ll keep the score down.”
Mallett was also not pleased with the tactics employed by South Africa against Australia.
“A fast, open game suits the Wallabies and I’m convinced if South Africa played more direct, stayed on their feet and off-loaded in the apex of their momentum in that same channel instead of going sideways, they’d have drawn the Wallabies defenders in, creating space out wide. That would have been a better tactic,” Mallett said.
“There are a lot of reasons why the Boks didn’t win. There were the disciplinary issues, especially at scrum time when they didn’t manage to turn on the pressure. They just gave away too many penalties for shoving early, allowing Australia to relieve the pressure far too easily.
“It’s the second match in a row that Ruan Dreyer has been penalised on the tighthead side for early engagement, shoving early before the ball was put in, and overextending. To win, you have to be absolutely flawless at the set pieces and work will have to go into the Boks’ scrummaging to stop the front row from giving away so many penalties.
“There were lots of missed opportunities, and I think there were several occasions where Jesse Kriel should have passed earlier. I thought Elton Jantjies was going to convert that penalty kick at the end. He started that kick in the middle of the poles, but should have started it from the left-hand upright.”