‘All Blacks murdered Boks’
- 16 Sep 2017
- More by Nick_Mallett
What NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks' humiliating 57-0 defeat against the All Blacks in Albany.
'Criticising this Bok team is like clubbing a baby seal. The poor guys are defenseless at the moment.
'The scrums were a shambles in the second half, the lineouts didn’t go well, the replacements didn’t make an impact, the scramble defence was nowhere and the first-up defence got worse as the game progressed.
'There’s a psychological weight that bears down on a player when they’re looking at the scoreboard at half-time and they’re staring at 30-odd-nil down. The game is finished and no one is going to beat the All Blacks when they are 30 points up. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough leadership in the Bok team at the moment and certainly not enough skill to have helped them come out for the second 40 minutes and try and turn things around.
'Today was by far the best game I’ve seen the All Blacks play the whole season. Whether that was because the ball bounced for them a bit in the first half, when the Boks made a couple of really stupid mistakes, I don’t know. They got off to a flyer and no team can give the All Blacks a start like that and expect to come back from it. If you have a bad start against New Zealand, you’re staring down the barrel.
'Before this Test, I said I wondered how many Boks would make a combined South Africa-New Zealand team. I can tell you after this performance, not one. There isn’t a single South African who would make a combined All Blacks-Springboks side. I didn’t think there was one before the game, and there is certainly no chance of it after this game.
'We don’t have skillful players. The Springboks are a team that is trying without stars. This is a group of players who, for six games prior to this one, surpassed their talent, actually. But today they were just outclassed by a far better team.
'We brought on replacements, but it didn’t help. I mean, Trevor Nyakane is a lovely rugby player, but he is not an international tighthead prop. South Africa ended up giving four or five scrum penalties away in the second half, from which the All Blacks absolutely murdered them.
'The Boks lost five lineouts on their own feed. That’s 10 first phases that you hand to the opposition. You can’t play against New Zealand and give them that many of your own first phases.
'In addition, we persisted with kicking downfield, which allowed them to counter-attack.
'And let’s not take away from the fact that they scored three very good forward tries with some good driving mauls. They varied their attack because they expertly spotted the Boks' weaknesses and exploited it ruthlessly.
'The really upsetting thing was that there were periods in every other game the All Blacks had played this season where they were vulnerable. The British & Irish Lions exposed a few frailties in the All Blacks’ ranks, as did Australia in the second half of the Test in Sydney and in the match in Dunedin. Even Argentina held their own against New Zealand, and the score in that game was 22-22 after 60 minutes.
'But I have not seen New Zealand perform against any other team like they did against the Boks today. Their intensity and focus have been criticised, so they came out determined to have a fantastic performance and they were aided and abetted by South Africa’s errors and poor decision-making. It was an absolutely superb performance by a team on top of their game.
'South Africa had 54% possession and New Zealand 46%, but that just shows it’s what you do with possession that counts and not the amount of possession you have. And the same counts with territory.
'There’s going to be massive disillusionment, depression and anger from South Africans, but we must just step back a little bit and acknowledge that we played appreciably the best team in the world. England are the second-best Test side, and then there is everyone else [South Africa, Wales, Australia and Ireland] who I think are pretty close together in third, fourth, fifth and sixth in the pecking order. This result doesn’t necessarily mean that the Boks have sunk to seventh-best in the world again. I think this is a once-off disaster as opposed to last year, which was a consistent disaster.
'Everything just went wrong today.'
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