‘Directionless Bulls are appalling’

What former Bok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the past weekend's Super Rugby matches at Loftus and Kings Park.

Bulls vs Crusaders

'The Bulls' defence is appalling, the attacking is appalling and their logic is appalling. They kick at goal twice and then they kick for touch. They missed 35 tackles and failed to cover the field. And this was the worst Bulls scrum I’ve seen. You just can’t win games playing like that. They are poor and directionless at everything. 

'We don’t see them defend driving mauls well, we don’t see them produce good driving mauls anymore, their scrumming is going backwards and the forwards aren’t dominant at the breakdown. They have lost all the physicality that the Bulls were known for. The Bulls have lost their structure completely. Furthermore, their handling skills and communication were woefully short of the Crusaders.

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'The Crusaders showed superior intelligence on defence and attack. They were fantastic. They played heads-up rugby and their decision-making, the accuracy of the passes and the work-rate off the ball were absolutely brilliant. Every time they had the ball in hand, the Crusaders looked threatening.

'If we pick a Springbok side full of players who are used to getting beaten by 50-plus points, we are in big trouble. They are not suddenly going to turn into world-beaters because they have a Bok jersey on. We have to select players out of successful franchises and at the moment, the Lions are our only successful team in Super Rugby. That is worrying.'

VIDEO: Highlights of Bulls vs Crusaders

Sharks vs Force

'There were moments of excellent play from the Sharks in this game. The try Curwin Bosch scored was brilliant. It was an outstanding bit of footwork by Jeremy Ward to keep the ball in play, Lukhanyo Am had a super game at outside centre, the pack was dominant and they defended well as a unit. Also Sbu Nkosi looks a beautiful player.

VIDEO: Highlights of Sharks vs Force

'But let’s not take anything away from the Force. They are a gritty team, who never gave up and made it difficult for the Sharks to secure the bonus point. They held on to the ball for many phases; they didn’t go anywhere, but their ball retention was good. That and a few handling errors by the hosts contributed to the Sharks not getting the bonus point. 

'I thought referee Rasta Rasivhenge had an excellent game. He got all the calls right and his positioning on the field, especially for that final try in the first half when Ward scored, was great. He is incredibly fast, fit and athletic, so kudos to him.'

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Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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Nick Mallett