Mallett: Bulls won physical battle
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett says the
Bulls’ physicality on defence won them the game against the Stormers.
The men from Pretoria extended their unbeaten record at home
in this year’s Super Rugby competition when they beat the Cape side 17-13 on
Speaking in the SuperSport studio after the game, Mallett
“Wonderful, physical defence won this for the Bulls. I can’t
speak enough about the efforts of RG Snyman and Jannes Kirsten who did
tremendously today. It was wave after wave of Stormers attack and the two of
them just hit ball-carriers and drove them back.
“The Bulls scrum held up well and that was crucial today.
They managed to steal a few lineouts and on the gainline their physicality was
far better than anything they showed in those last two games on tour against
the Brumbies and Waratahs.
“Both teams realised that the team dominating physically was
going to win and tried their best at the set piece. Then it came to the
breakdown and because the Stormers were so lateral in the last two games
against the Waratahs and Sunwolves, they were much more direct today and tried
to get the driving maul going. But full credit must go to the Bulls for the way
they countered the maul and that directness of the Stormers attack.”
Mallett though was not overly impressed by the quality on
display at Loftus Versfeld.
“The Bulls and Stormers are trying to evolve from a
territory and set-piece orientated game and it’s going to take time. But what
they have to have is a No 10 dominating his forwards and scrumhalf as to who he
wants on the ball. He should be the chief communicator and they have to listen
to him,” he said.
“Not one of the flyhalves at Loftus controlled the game
well, which is why the game was of such a low quality. A flyhalf is supposed to
set the play in motion, deciding who takes the ball forward between the
forwards and the backs. In this game, I had the feeling the flyhalves were very
much out of it.
“Neither Francois Brummer nor Jean-Luc du Plessis seized
control in the way Pat Lambie and Elton Jantjies did in their respective
matches. And that lessened the quality of the contest. If you play off No 9,
and off kicks with a lot of physicality around the forwards, you are never
going to get the variety that we’ve seen from the Lions.”