Mallett: Bulls missed an opportunity
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was disappointed following the Bulls’ defeat to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday.
After taking an early 14-3 lead, the Bulls failed to trouble the scorers for the remainder of the match as they went down 20-14.
Mallett commented on the game in the SuperSport studio on Saturday.
“The Bulls started with a very exciting win (against the Hurricanes) that was very encouraging and then a disappointing loss to the Lions. I felt there was an opportunity missed against the Reds. They (the Reds) are not a great side and the Bulls kicked off the game well but were just not able to finish them off. They looked like the Stormers when they played the Waratahs. That was a game that was there for the taking and the Stormers should have won it but lost it in the last movement of the game,” Mallett said.
“I thought the Bulls would have retained some of the confidence they got in that first game. They started so well, going 14-3 up and they didn't score another point in the game. They were literally deprived of the ball throughout that second half.”
Mallett also commented on the performances of the other South African sides.
He called the Lions’ 38-35 loss to the Blues “worrying”.
“The Blues had lost their first two games and have come to our best franchise and beaten them at home. We have a lot of work to do and it is a pity about the Lions performance, because I did not think they would lose when they were ahead by 18 points at one stage.”
The Stormers’ 33-15 defeat to the Highlanders in Dunedin saw them finish their Australasian tour with three defeats from three.
“The Stormers have had a better tour than last year, but still, three losses on tour is not ideal for them. I think there were times when the Stormers' ball handling was outstanding, they were well in this game at half-time when it was 19-15,” Mallett said.
“(Damian) Willemse scored a great try by showing a great turn of pace, and I thought he played very well in this game. His defence was outstanding, he really did tackle well and we know about his attacking ability and sidestepping.”
Of the Sharks’ 50-22 annihilation of the Sunwolves in Durban, Mallett said: "It was a good win, 50 points against a gutsy Sunwolves side. It got a bit loose in the last 20 minutes but there was a really good 60-minute period where the Sharks got momentum through their forwards and had a very good off-loading game.”