Mallett: Pollard doesn’t crack under pressure
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has heaped praise on the recent performances of Bulls flyhalf Handre Pollard.
After two injury-plagued seasons, Pollard is regaining the form that saw him play as South Africa’s first-choice No 10 at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Pollard's form has steadily improved for the Bulls in recent weeks and despite the team’s home loss to the Highlanders last weekend, the pivot was a prominent figure.
He contributed 11 points to his side’s cause in a 29-28 defeat, including scoring an intercept try in which he ran almost half the length of the field.
Mallett, who commented on the game in the SuperSport studio, said he was impressed by Pollard’s efforts.
“I think the most important thing we know about Handre is that he is a physical flyhalf who takes it to the line and he is a very good defender. He’s got a very good powerful kick and he kicks well for poles, so those are the basics. What he really has learned now is he is bossing the game better from 10. He is varying his kicking game, there was one magnificent relieving kick he put in today, 70m up-field, to turn the momentum in that second half,” Mallett said.
“He seems to be a guy that doesn’t crack under pressure. He’s got a stricter personality, good leadership and he is finally over his injury. So there are a lot of things going for him in this position. He played the World Cup in 2015, so clearly, he is a guy who can take the pressure and it is great to see him back at this level.”