Cape Town - Despite their 2-1 series win over Ireland, the
Springboks have lots to work on before the Rugby Championship, former coach
Nick Mallett has warned.
Mallett was speaking in the SuperSport studio after last
Saturday’s 19-13 win in Port Elizabeth.
South Africa's win followed a 32-26 win in Johannesburg the previous week, after Ireland had won the first Test in Cape Town 26-20.
“It was a very close Test match, but let’s not beat around
the bush, we didn’t dominate Ireland today,” said Mallett.
“Thank goodness our kicking was so accurate. I think Elton
Jantjies missed just one kick and Ruan Combrinck’s kick from 50m out was very
important. We’ll take the win, but there’s still a lot of progress to be made
before we can start competing properly against New Zealand. Australia are in a
worse position than us at the moment, but we can’t hope that they are just
going to fall over in the Rugby Championship.”
Mallett highlighted a few areas of concern for the Boks.
“While the whole team defended really well at the end, our
defence is still reasonably passive. It is well organised, but not aggressive
enough. We need to get off the line faster to put pressure on the ball-carriers
quicker and we should attack the ball in the tackle - rather like Ireland do -
to make sure they get slower ball. England were very successful against
Australia with that tactic and New Zealand do it a lot as well.
“On attack we were a little bit frenetic. It’s a young side
with a lot of enthusiasm, but they were quite anxious and didn’t show patience.
A confident team that understands each other will know when to pass and when
not to pass. They don’t push passes. You could see the Irish side was well
organised and it’ll take time for us to become as well drilled and organised.
But attack is the one area where we should be able to have the patience to take
the ball through the phases to put the opposition under pressure and allow our
big ball-carriers to start winning penalties for us.”
The All Blacks would be firm favourites in the Rugby
Championship, Mallett insisted.
“What we must understand is that New Zealand are appreciably
better than any other team in the world, including England. They are way ahead
in the rankings, but between the second placed team and the sixth or seventh
placed team, there’s very little difference. We must concentrate on becoming
second best. And only when we are second, can we start challenging to be the