‘Boks were overconfident’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks' defeat to Ireland in Dublin.

On not taking their points

'We lost the game because we didn't take our points when we should've. It's the northern hemisphere – we knock over our points and it might've been 9-6 at half-time. There were two knock-ons in vital positions, one from a driving maul and one at the base of a scrum 5m out.

'The fact that we went for driving mauls in the first 20 minutes of a Test match when we've got kickable penalties shows me that we were overconfident. That we can just get our driving maul going and score tries. It doesn't work that way.'

On referee Romain Poite

'I've got no complaints about the ref. Lots of people were saying that the ref was hopeless. I disagree. I thought he refereed the game perfectly well and I think that our discipline let us down badly.

'People will complain about Adriaan Strauss getting sent off, but you know that you cannot take a guy in the air. He got the yellow card he deserved.'

On the Bok scrumhalves

'What concerns me is that neither of the two scrumhalves today [Francois Hougaard and Cobus Reinach] played with confidence. What we don't realise is how much we're missing Fourie du Preez. His calmness and his accuracy is something that you can't replace overnight with two youngsters.

'Hougaard today dithered over the ball and when Reinach came on he didn't improve the situation either. He looked flustered. There wasn't calmness. We showed our glaring weakness at scrumhalf. We had much more possession than the Irish, but at key moments our scrumhalves let us down.

'The success of our performance against England is going to depend on good transformation from our scrum to our backline and that comes through the scrumhalf.'

On the Bok backline

'Our backline players were fairly predictable. They were very direct, trying to take the player on. We saw a lot of physicality from our backs, but what we need is a little bit more skill. When the New Zealanders play, and I'm sorry to say this, but they run at shoulders as opposed to men.

'I thought Willie [le Roux] didn't have one of his better days. He was a little lateral on his attacks, he ran across the field, he made a couple of handling mistakes and a couple of poor decisions under the high ball.

'Our wingers hardly got the ball, and [Bryan] Habana spent a lot of time trying to contest the ball on the ground. The try we scored at the end of the game showed what we can do if we put the ball through the hands.'

On the Irish

'Joe Schmidt knows perfectly well that the Irish like operating as underdogs.They like giving the opposition credit before the game. It makes any performance that they give more flattering. Lets give them tremendous credit, they never ever stopped tackling.

'From a coaching perspective, they really concentrated on stopping our driving mauls with great variation. We still scored a try from one, but we didn't get the momentum we usually do.

'Even though they were completely outscrummed for large periods of the game and their lineout was under a bit of pressure, they were able to beat us with scraps. They tackled twice as much as we did and they ended up with 29 points to our 15.'

On the Boks' next match against England

'One area of the game we were pretty good at today was our scrummaging. England are going to be far better in the scrums. They're going to be far better in the set pieces. So when we don't have the dominance in our set piece we're going to have to take every opportunity that comes our way.'

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Post by