‘Bismarck’s actions unacceptable’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the weekend's matches involving South African teams.

On Bismarck du Plessis' red card

'He just had a rush of blood to his head. That is absolutely unacceptable. From a captain, from a Springbok player – you cannot kick a guy in the head. It reminds me a bit of Jean Deysel's red card [against the Crusaders last year] , who was held and he kicked out. It's a red card and the referee got it spot on. '

On Pat Lambie's captaincy

'Lambie deserves credit for the way he captained the team. It was probably very difficult with the Sharks down to 13 men. They showed very courageous defence in difficult conditions.'

On where the Chiefs went wrong

'The Chiefs struggled with their handling today – they took some poor decisions and lost the ball in contact. They actually lost it with [Aaron] Cruden's missed drop goal and not taking one at the end of the game, otherwise they might've sneaked it.'

On Saru's agreement with the franchises to rest Springboks

'There was an agreement before the season started between the franchises and Saru about giving Springbok-contracted players a rest after five consecutive games. The Sharks were clearly in a position where they couldn't afford to do this. They pay the salaries of the players and this threw up again the issue we have that Saru doesn't control the players, the unions do. Lambie and [Cobus] Reinach played their sixth game in a row and thankfully they did play, because they were crucial for the Sharks in difficult conditions.'

On the Bulls' attacking woes

'We go on and on about JJ Engelbrecht not running straight. There was a three-on-two overlap [in the 10th minute]. All he has to do is run at the inside shoulder of the second last defender and pass [instead he ran across-field to negate the overlap]. He's a winger playing outside centre … honestly, he frustrates me no end. [Not running straight] is a sickness in our rugby.'

On the Lions' win in Melbourne

'The Lions conceded 14 points when [Franco] Mostert was yellow-carded. A yellow card is so costly in a game – players really need to work on their discipline. That's a lesson South African teams need to learn. If you think about the Lions' season and how it started out, you have [Howard] Mnisi knocking the ball on over the line against the Stormers and they were very close against the Hurricanes on the opening weekend. So to be honest, they deserved these two wins and they've got the Reds to come, so it could be three wins on tour.'

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Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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Nick Mallett