Mallett: Sunwolves 'embarrassing'
Johannesburg - Former Springboks coach Nick
Mallett said the Sunwolves were "embarrassing" Super Rugby after they
suffered a 92-17 mauling from the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein Friday.
Cheetahs scored 14 tries at Free State
Stadium to achieve the biggest triumph in the competition this season, easily
surpassing the 53-10 victory of Waikato Chiefs over Western Force.
Seven-time champions Crusaders hold the
record for the most points in a Super Rugby match - 96 against the Waratahs in
2002 in Christchurch.
The biggest winning margin was achieved by
the South African Northern Bulls when they crushed Reds 92-3 in
Pretoria nine seasons ago.
Scoring became so easy for Cheetahs that
wing Sergeal Petersen crossed the try-line, then waited for No. 8 Paul
Schoeman to run forward, dot down and complete a hat-trick.
Petersen also scored three tries for a side
that averaged just 2.5 tries per game in six previous Super Rugby matches this
season and won just once.
SuperSport TV analyst Mallett, who took
South Africa to third place at the 1999 Rugby World Cup in England, said the
match was not good for Super Rugby or the Tokyo-based newcomers.
"It was embarrassing," he told
viewers. "Imagine what the scoreline could have been if the Sunwolves were
playing one of the top New Zealand teams.
"The Sunwolves lost heart and belief
and gave up long before the final whistle. This match was not a proper
reflection of Super Rugby.
"They had no defensive structures and
when they did get the ball, repeatedly committed handling errors."
Fellow analyst and former Springboks
flyhalf Naas Botha was equally critical of the Sunwolves as they suffered a
seventh consecutive loss in their debut season, including four at home.
"There was no commitment, no
sharpness, and they have a lot of tough fixtures ahead. Any team could have
shone against them tonight."
The match completed a three-match tour of
South Africa for the Japanese franchise, who lost 33-28 to Southern Kings and
46-19 to Stormers.
Cheetahs skipper and centre Francois Venter
said: "This was a special effort and I am proud of the boys. Our
scrummaging was great and it gave us lots of quick ball."
Stunned Sunwolves skipper and hooker Shota
Horie said the defeat was particularly depressing as they wanted to lift the
spirits of their countrymen after a series of earthquakes hit Japan.
A powerful 'quake hit the south of the
country early Saturday, a day after a strong tremor in the same area killed
nine people, injured hundreds and toppled buildings.
"We wanted to play good rugby, to be
courageous, to raise the morale of our people in the aftermath of the
earthquakes, but it was not to be.
"It is a difficult result to accept.
We host the Argentine Jaguares in Tokyo next weekend and we must work much
harder and rebuild our confidence."
Cheetahs scored seven tries in each half
and led 45-3 at half-time after falling behind in the fourth minute when Samoa
flyhalf Tusi Pisi slotted a penalty.
Sunwolves applied pressure for a brief
second half period, when trailing 59-3, and New Zealander Derek Carpenter and
Tongan Mifiposeti Paea scored tries that Pisi converted.
Petersen and Schoeman scored three tries
each for Cheetahs and Torsten van Jaarsveld, Francois Venter, Uzair Cassiem,
Raymond Rhule, Shaun Venter, Hilton Lobberts, Clayton Blommetjies and Jacques
du Toit one each.
Flyhalf Niel Marais kicked eight
conversions and his replacement, Fred Zeilinga, three.