‘Bok loss no surprise’

What former Bok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks' 41-13 defeat to New Zealand in Christchurch.

'It wasn’t a result that was a surprise, quite frankly, given the development of our team and how well New Zealand are playing and the relative skills difference between their players and ours. It would have been a surprise if the Boks had managed to hold the All Blacks to 10 points.

'I think any team playing against the All Blacks struggles to sustain a challenge over 80 minutes. The little things in the second half didn’t unfortunately go right for the Boks. They kicked the ball out on the full at the start, three lineouts went astray. When playing the All Blacks, you cannot lose your set piece, because turnover opportunity – a lost lineout, poor kick or turnover – is a try-scoring opportunity for them.

'If you get quick ball, then everything is on. For the Boks’ try, each ball-carrier got across the advantage line and what was really encouraging was the ball retention over quite a few phases.

'I think Faf de Klerk is told that he has to defend the No 10 and that is why he is drifting off the No 9, who is running. And we got punished badly because Faf didn’t close down the All Blacks scrumhalf at the base of the scrum.

'The All Blacks always leave a jumper and a hooker out wide when they attack from a lineout. Where’s our jumber and our hooker? You’ve got to leave the equivalent players, who contested the lineout and the hooker, to challenge their opponents. You can’t all gravitate towards the ball close to a ruck. That is the understanding on defence that we are lacking at the moment.

'Let’s also give credit to the All Blacks. They are coached to have a look at the defensive structure and then try to attack the weakness in that. And they take very good decisions. If the initial defender shifts, they’ll go into that gap to keep momentum and if the space is out wide, the ball goes wide. So, while we must improve our defence, let’s credit the All Blacks for often making the right decisions.'

Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

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