Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has criticised the national team’s performance after a loss to Argentina in Salta.
Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after the Springboks’ 26-24 reverse late on Saturday night (SA time).
“We shouldn’t be surprised, given what we have been served up so far this year. I said before the game I was very nervous. You can’t carry on being passionate about the Springboks. Just because you put a Springbok jersey over your head, you think you are going to go and beat Argentina away. That’s just not happening anymore. We’ve lost to Japan, we’ve lost to Wales away, we’ve lost to Argentina and Ireland at home and now we’ve lost to Argentina away,” said Mallett.
“We’ve been very poor, let’s be frank about this. Our performances are well below that we’d expect. Remember that Argentina missed two tries. Their winger could easily have scored but he knocked on over the line and then Eben Etzebeth pushed their player into touch 5m from our line.”
According to Mallett, the Springboks also lack a strong leadership core.
‘If you consider that in the last 20 minutes Argentina lost Nicolás Sánchez, Juan Martín Hernández and their captain Agustín Creevy, who was taken off, it was a leaderless team at the end and they still managed to hold on. And this is what worries me about the Springbok squad at the moment. It doesn’t look as though it has a strong leadership. We try to get positives out of the fact that we’ve won three games coming from behind - two against Ireland and last week against Argentina - but in this game our luck finally ran out.”