‘Bulls have real problems’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about Saturday's matches at Loftus Versfeld and Kings Park.


'It was a confident performance by a more inexperienced team. The Stormers showed fantastic defence, a good scrum. [Nic] Groom was excellent, as were [Damian] de Allende and [Juan] de Jongh.

'The Bulls have had problems in the scrum for three years, so you've got to ask yourself, where is their recruitment and why is a guy like Vincent Koch down at the Stormers? He was right on their doorstep and he did a great job as a tighthead prop, first at the Pumas and then with the Stormers today.

'There were too many individual errors. You can't drop a ball like [Jürgen] Visser did to let the Stormers back into the game and change the momentum of those first 15 minutes.

'And then finally, the scrumhalves, [Piet] van Zyl and [Rudy] Paige didn't add too much value, while [Francois] Hougaard spent the night on the wing. They needed someone to take a bit more control at No 9. So the Bulls have real problems.'

'I would've thought the aggression and the intensity would've come from the Bulls, and it did for the first 10 minutes. But they seemed to be a team with no self-confidence, because as soon as Visser dropped that ball and the Stormers scored, it was almost as if the bubble burst and their confidence was broken.

'Their line speed was really slow and their weren't many aggressive hits from the Bulls. The Stormers' players were allowed to carry the ball over the advantage line. The Bulls were unable to get any turnovers, which meant the Stormers were able to hold onto possession for long periods of time. They had time on the ball, which I wasn't expecting.

'The Bulls played the last 10 minutes in their half. [Handré] Pollard put the kick-off out on the full, which allowed the Stormers to have a scrum and possession on the halfway line. The Stormers finished the game patiently – they forced the Bulls to play from deep, give away penalties and then made them pay.'


'It was an outstanding win by the Cheetahs. The Sharks have got a very good team. Playing at home, you expected the Sharks to have a five- to 10-point victory. That's what most people in South Africa were thinking, particularly as the Cheetahs have had a bit of disruption in the off-season.

'The Cheetahs hardly made mistakes – they didn't make the handling mistakes and silly errors that the Sharks did. Their kicking was more precise, their defence was far better, they got off the line better, were more enthusiastic and thoroughly deserved their victory.'

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Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images

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