Mallett sums up Lions: 'Loose, directionless'
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has questioned the Lions’ tactics after their narrow win over the Sunwolves at Ellis Park.
The Lions survived a massive scare to beat the Japanese side 40-38 on Saturday - a result which leaves them atop the overall standings with four wins from five.
However, the Lions’ performance did not impress Mallett, who afterwards shared his comments in the SuperSport studio.
“They (the Sunwolves) were aided and abetted by a loose, directionless performance by the Lions. I have always been full of admiration for the way the Lions play but you have to understand your opposition. You have to understand what they don't want you to do,” Mallett said.
“The Sunwolves, like any New Zealand side, flourish on open play with lots of turnovers and mistakes. So you must make sure you make as few mistakes as possible and keep putting pressure on them through your forwards and good direct play using the blindside.
“I saw it once from the Lions in the second half, when they set up play and Elton Jantjies hit a long grubber kick into the corner, which allowed them to score their last try and snatch this game out of the fire.
“This isn't a game the Lions should have played with trepidation. They are our best side playing against a team that hasn't won away from home yet. The Lions have come off a poor game and a poor finish to the Blues and they repeated the same performance.”
The Lions had lost 38-35 to the Blues in the previous week, despite leading 28-10 at one stage in the second half.
“There are still a lot of lessons to be learned. (Lions captain) Franco Mostert said they would go away and improve but they should have done that last week,” Mallett stressed.
“That kick from Andries Coetzee (when the Lions were on the attack) was the biggest aberration from an international player I have ever seen. What on earth are you doing chipping the ball off the outside of your left foot when they have five men back in their 22, instead of holding it and controlling play?”