‘Boks bludgeoned USA’

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

‘I think the substitutes could have come on 10 minutes earlier. The game was done and dusted when we scored a couple of tries early in the second half and got our bonus point. But we waited until the 60th minute before we brought most of the guys on. Heyneke Meyer has got a point when he says a lot of guys needed game time, though.

'It’s difficult to make a judgement on this performance because the first half was disappointing, we were very inaccurate, and in the second half we bludgeoned them to death. They were outscrummed, outtackled and they hardly had the ball. There were a lot of penalties given against the USA and our guys found gaping holes in their defence. But let's put this game behind us now, we have 10 days [until the quarter-final]. I think Heyneke knows what his best XV is, but the big question mark is whether Jannie du Plessis is going to start, or is Frans Malherbe going to start. He was very impressive when he was on the field.

'Bryan Habana really has that winger's knack of being able to sniff out tries … He's a huge enthusiast and when he's on form he has that bubbly personality that runs through the team. He's really improved his breakdown skills too, he got a brilliant turnover today. Sometimes he actually commits a little bit too much at the rucks, he's very brave with his breakdown skills and contesting for the up and unders. Our forwards were so dominant today and we really put them to the sword. We got ball on the front foot all day and there were plenty of opportunities to score if you were an outside backline player.

'What I'm liking about Damian de Allende is that when he's in contact he'll hand off and put the ball under one arm, but when he's through the gap he'll have it in two hands. The one thing I think Jesse Kriel can improve on is getting the ball into two hands and having hand speed. At the moment the ball gets to him and stops; an outside centre needs to have quick hands. If he becomes more concerned about getting the ball out to the wingers rather than tucking it under one arm and having a crack then I believe he'll be a better player for it.

‘Obviously we were scrumming against the USA pack, and it was questionable whether that was their strongest front row, but there is no doubting the technique of Frans, his backside is lower than his shoulders and he very seldom collapses the scrum. I think we won four or five penalties and got a penalty try from us going forward in the scrums [in the first half].'

Photo: BackpagePix

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