Mallett: Bok attack must replicate Lions

    2016-07-04 07:01

    Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says the Springboks should adopt the Lions style of attack if they are to improve their backline play.

    Mallett was commenting in the SuperSport studio after the Lions’ stunning 37-10 annihilation of the Sharks in Johannesburg at the weekend.

    “Every Lions player knows what his responsibility is. They have an absolutely brilliant, accurate attack. The reason the Lions are so effective is that every player who hits the gainline, does so at pace with a support runner on his shoulder. So the backs are always trying to offload through the tackle and the forwards are looking to go through with momentum and win quick ruck ball. And when that happens, the defence doesn’t have time to reset and then Faf de Klerk is so quick to that ball, that they are creating opportunity after opportunity,” said Mallett.

    “The Sharks have a good defensive system, but they were ripped apart by the variety in this Lions attack. The Lions had quite a number of players away with the Springboks, but the Sharks had the majority of their squad in training for those three weeks. And the Sharks trained with the express desire to win this game and save their season. So it was a highly motivated Sharks team that went to play at Ellis Park, but the Lions just played irresistible rugby, it was just everything I wanted to see from a South African rugby team.”

    Mallett’s message to current Springbok coach Allister Coetzee was clear as he highlighted a problem area in the Springbok midfield.

    "A lot of people say Test rugby is a step up and players need to understand that their mistakes and errors cost more and therefore there is a tendency to play more conservatively. I’d like to take Lionel Mapoe, who had a very quiet Test series against Ireland, as an example. I can’t remember a pass that he got from Damian de Allende in a Bok jersey because De Allende was asked to take the ball up. It wasn’t Mapoe’s fault that he couldn’t get his hands on the ball. If we can just get our Springbok attack to replicate the Lions', I’d be so much more confident about our chances against New Zealand and Australia.”

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