What NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Vodacom Super Rugby final between the Crusaders and Jaguares.
The sadness in a game like this is everyone focuses on the winners. But for a couple of missed opportunities this could have been a great deal tighter than it was.
Nineteen was definitely the most points the Crusaders could have got but three was the least the Jaguares could have got. There were at least two tries the visitors could have scored. And because they went so far behind they didn’t take penalty kicks later in the game.
But let’s tip our caps to the performance of the Jaguares this Super Rugby campaign. They were absolutely outstanding and deserve to be celebrated even though the Crusaders won the title. The Jaguares were well-deserved finalists and I just think the Jaguares are the real good news story of the season.
I hate individual awards because it’s a team performance usually. But Pablo Matera deserved the Man of the Match after his brilliant effort in the final. He was been absolutely outstanding the whole year and if I had to pick a Player of the Season it would have to be him.
The Jaguares flyhalf Joaquin Diaz Bonilla didn’t have a great game. He attacked too deep and his kicking was a bit aimless. When Domingo Miotti came on they were much better. His offensive kicks were just marvelous. And had he come on a little earlier it might have made a difference.
Richie Mo’unga had 50% missed tackles and once a player shows a little bit of defensive frailty, I promise you the opposition coaches will pick it up and they will design moves to take their big ball carriers into his channel. The more he has to make tackles the more ruffled he gets and the less calm he is in his decision-making. So it’s a good tactic to employ against him.
Matt Todd has an unbelievable work rate. The All Blacks really believe in an openside flank and we’ve already spoke about how powerful and important Ardie Savea and Sam Cane are. And in this final we saw the importance of Todd.
So it is a bit of a concern from a Springbok point of view that we don’t have a similar like for like fetcher. We have a Malcolm Marx and a Duane Vermeulen but not really an openside who can play to the ball with the same accuracy that affects the speed of the opposition ball and speeds up your own.
Just a quick word too for Jaco Peyper. We said before we don’t want to be talking about a refereeing error after the final and there wasn’t. He had an outstanding game and neither team can complain about the on-field decisions because it was all very fair.