• ‘Hougaard was poor’

    What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport after the two Vodacom Super Rugby games on Saturday.

    ON THE VODACOM BULLS' GAME PLAN
    'The Bulls haven’t changed anything from what they did last year. They rely just on physicality, forcing penalties, kicking to the corners and scoring from lineout mauls. They need to offer more. The Bulls have real issues. The Bulls' real problem was the loose trio and it is down to the type of player they selected. Jono Ross is not a No 6 flank. Jacques du Plessis is a lock and not a No 7 and Pierre Spies in a very physical game was very quiet.'

    ON MARCELL COETZEE'S POTENTIAL AS A FETCHER
    'Coetzee, who is playing a fetcher-type role for the Sharks, dominated in this area of the game. He was good but he was also up against a loose trio who were incapable of matching him because none of them possesses fetcher-type qualities.'

    ON FRANCOIS HOUGAARD'S STRUGGLE AT NO 9
    'The kicking game of Hougaard was poor and he was slow to the breakdown and struggling to get back into the role of No 9. Louis Fouché at flyhalf also looked like a Currie Cup player.'

    ON THE SHARKS' HALFBACKS
    'For the Sharks, Cobus Reinach was good at No 9 and Pat Lambie was good at No 10. His distribution was good and his only blemish was a few missed conversions. He also played a lot flatter and that made the Sharks dangerous from first phase.The Sharks did very well in those conditions to score four tries and get the bonus point. I thought they defended well and they certainly took their opportunities in the first half.'

    ON THE GAME IN BLOEM
    'In the first half, both teams were prepared to have a crack, irrespective of field position, but the Cheetahs forced way too much on attack. No team can afford to miss three easy penalty kicks like the Cheetahs did. Most, including myself, backed a Cheetahs win, and I felt that for the Lions to win the Cheetahs had to be very poor and the Lions had to kick every point available. It is exactly how the result was fashioned. The Cheetahs were extremely poor and Marnitz Boshoff kicked everything [six penalties and a drop goal]. He is a very good fullback and I thought he did very well at flyhalf.'

    ON THE LIONS' WIN
    'It was a great result for the Lions on their Super Rugby return and shows the beauty of sport that no win is a given.'

    Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

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    Nick Mallett