‘Enough talent to get job done’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springbok squad and Saturday's derby matches.


'It was a brave, gutsy performance by the Lions and the Bulls were masters of their own demise. They desperately missed their captain in [Victor] Matfield, they looked leaderless and lacked motivation. They didn't look like a team desperate to make the play-offs. The Lions showed much more tenacity and commitment.'


'It was a great defensive performance by the Stormers, just hanging in there and keeping themselves in the game. And suddenly a drop goal at the end of the game. The only time the Stormers led today was in the 81st minute. It was an extraordinary win, I didn't expect the Sharks to lose today.

'Well done to a young Stormers team, they've got nothing to play for except for pride. But it must be said, it was a disappointing performance by the Sharks. There was a penalty for Frans Steyn that bounces off the crossbar and it goes through the hands of Tim Swiel. If it just goes over the bar or Swiel catches the ball, the Sharks have won the ball game.

'Why would you kick the ball away at the end? Why would you give the Stormers a chance to counter-attack and get the drop-goal opportunity? Hold onto the ball.'


There's a strong blend of experience and youth. You've got Victor [Matfield], you've got Bakkies [Botha] back, Guthrö Steenkamp, Frans Steyn, Morné Steyn. A lot of players that Heyneke [Meyer] has counted on before, but then there's also the youngsters. Damian de Allende, [S'bura] Sithole, there's a great opportunity for Cornal Hendricks too, who has done well. There's 36 players, so its a very big squad and to be honest I don't think there are too many missing here. One could argue for [Heinrich] Brüssow but we all know Heyneke has his reasons. He doesn't really appreciate short loose forwards even though I think Brussow is a fantastic player.

'There's certainly enough talent there to do the job in this next month. I've always said that in spite of how the South African sides play in the Super Rugby campaign, we've always got the ability to pick 15 or 23 really strong individual players, despite the fact that we've had a few injuries.

'One of the hallmarks of Heyneke's selection has been loyalty and he sticks to people that he knows. So Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez and Victor Matfield, these are guys who have done the job for him before. I think over this month he has the opportunity to see whether the old guys can still do the job and give the younger players the opportunity to spend a month with the Springboks and learn the system.

'I think this tour will give him a great opportunity to get his structures into place and his starting team shouldn't differ much to what we've seen before. He is looking to establish a winning culture with the team so that they can go into the Rugby Championship in a confident frame of mind.'

Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Post by

Nick Mallett