‘Bok victory to celebrate’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks’ World Cup match against Scotland.

'Let's celebrate this win, we're already saying Scotland weren't that good and that they picked a B team, but we played well today. The only try they scored was an interception from 75m out. We controlled the game territorially and it was a game we never really looked in danger of losing. Congratulations to South Africa first and foremost, we've now got to play the USA, who haven't picked up a log point yet. I know that game will be four days later, but our squad is surely good enough to be able to make eight or nine changes, get fresh legs onto the field, and those players will want to show that they are deserving to be in the World Cup squad. We should be able to get enough points to finish top [of the pool].

'The major ball-carriers [against Scotland] were Lood de Jager, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw, Duane Vermeulen and Eben Etzebeth. They handled the ball probably as much as Handré Pollard, but that is the way we play. The problem is if we get to a situation where we are physically matched by a team like New Zealand, or perhaps Ireland, and they use an equivalent kicking game against us and put us under pressure, it could be difficult. It's quite easy to defend against us, we don't create all that many linebreaks. You create linebreaks with dummy runners, change of angles and inside balls etc.

'There was a poor performance against Argentina in Durban and a poor performance against Japan, when we tried to play a bit too much rugby and our skill levels weren't good enough. If we think we are going to get to a semi-final or final, the way we are going to beat a top team is to play to our strengths, not to their strengths.

'Like any great scrumhalf, Fourie du Preez scans before he gets his hands on the ball, so when he gets to a ruck his head is already turning to assess the options, and by the time he gets his hands on the ball he's got a clear understanding of which side he's going to go and who he's going to play … He is calm and controlled, he scans for the best options and his passing skills are so good that he can play a number of different options. He is key to South Africa going a long way in this tournament … Lood gets over the advantage line, his cleaning at the rucks is good, his defence was always incredibly offensive. He really had a fabulous game.'

Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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