Mallett applauds Bulls, Lions
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett applauded the Bulls and Lions for playing an entertaining Super Rugby game at Loftus Versfeld last Saturday.
The Bulls won 35-33, scoring four tries to their opponents' three.
Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, said it was welcome to watch an open, expansive game.
"Congratulations to both those teams for a wonderful display of entertaining rugby. It was open, running rugby. There was some great off-loading from the Lions and good control from the Bulls. The Bulls scored three wonderful tries in the first half, and then Pierre Spies came off the bench with that explosive try in the second half.
"It was end-to-end entertainment for the whole game. It seems as though the Lions have kick-started the move for South African teams to play with a bit more width. And the Bulls have embraced this. They were a team that was very much structured around set pieces and running off nine, they've brought variety to their game and it's really paid off.
"I think if they go on this tour knowing they can close it up with their kicking game, their solid lineout and their defensive game, or they can play it wide and create try-scoring opportunities for their outside backs. They're going to go on this tour with much more confidence than they have on previous occasions."
After the Stormers' 25-17 loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, Mallett said the South African Conference was now wide open.
"It was a very disappointing performance from the Stormers today. They are the ones who have fallen back the worst today. They probably went to Bloemfontein expecting to beat the Cheetahs, to cement their place at the top of the log. And it would've been great for them if the Lions had beaten the Bulls, but instead both results have gone against them and it's blown the conference right open."
The Bulls now top the South African Conference with 34 points after 11 games, followed by the Stormers (30), Lions (27), Sharks (21) and Cheetahs (20).