‘Boshoff must play 10 for Lions’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Bulls, Sharks and Lions.

'They had far greater cohesion and impact with Jono Ross at his preferred position of No 8, with Jacques du Plessis in the ball-carrying role and Deon Stegmann as the fetcher. In previous matches I felt they had the balance of the loose trio wrong and players were out of position. I still think Du Plessis is a lock but he looked more comfortable with Ross at No 8 and with a specialist fetcher in the openside role. Ross looked lost on the flank in the early weeks but I felt he looked comfortable at No 8. It is a very good win whenever a team gets the bonus point. It is important to win the home games and the Bulls are now two from two.'

'The Sharks' template is very similar to the Boks'. They use one-off runners, they play a lot off opposition mistakes and they don’t build as much with ball in hand. This match showed that if you match their set piece they can become too individual and they can be vulnerable. There was one brilliant individual try for the Sharks, but mostly their scoreboard dominance was because they play off opposition mistakes. The Sharks are the strongest of the South African teams and perhaps their game plan approach has a lot to do with playing at home in difficult and humid conditions. I would like to see what they can do in dry conditions.'

'Give the Lions credit. They put up a fight and I thought they looked better once they made their substitutions. I got the feeling they initially didn’t believe they could win, especially in their starting selections. But once Marnitz Boshoff went to 10 the Lions improved. I think [flyhalf] Elton Jantjies was off the pace. Boshoff has been playing well at 10. If they want to beat the Blues they have to back their set piece and rely on it – and they have to pick Boshoff at 10.'

Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images

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Nick Mallett