What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about Saturday's matches at Newlands and Free State Stadium.
On the scrums
'The front row for the Stormers was absolutely outstanding. Steven Kitshoff on the loosehead, he gave poor Matt Stevens a really terrible afternoon.
'It’s really unusual to get three tightheads and one in particular was absolutely vital, coming right on the Stormers line. It was the whole front row, not just Kitshoff, but he really led the way on the loosehead side.
'There were four or five occasions when the Sharks had very good attacking ball, their put in at the scrum, and they went and gave a tighthead or a penalty away, and it broke any momentum they had.'
On Matt Stevens
'You’ve got to question the recruitment of Matt Stevens. He’s a guy at the very end of his career at Saracens, and he might be a good team man, but his job is to scrum.
'His job is also to help Jannie du Plessis have a bit of a break this season, but if every time he plays they’re going to give away tightheads, then he wasn’t a very worthwhile recruitment.'
On Frans Steyn
'Frans Steyn seemed to lose it at the end. The penalty when he jumped up in the air was a 50/50 call, but the other two weren’t.
'He went in really hard on [Cheslin] Kolbe just before half-time, and the one at the end of the game showed his frustration. It was a terribly late tackle and it was dangerous.'
On Cheslin Kolbe
'I keep asking myself, is he being played in the right position? Will he become an international fullback? In the present South African system, they’ll never pick him because he’s too small.
'He’s the same height and weight as Aaron Smith. Smith is playing for the All Blacks and is one of the best scrumhalves in the world. Kolbe played No 9 at sevens – he’s got brilliant ability around the fringes.
'Forwards are slow, they’re not as agile as backline players, so his ability to step forwards around the fringes is far greater than in the wide open spaces where he’s up against other backline players.
'We’ve given opportunities to Francois Hougaard, Cobus Reinach and Sarel Pretorius, so why not Kolbe? He’s got more pace than any of them, he’s got a devastating boot, he’s very dangerous and he’s got a good pass.'
On the Stormers' performance
'The Stormers have changed their game plan, and they’ve got a much better balance between defence and attack. They used to have a very strong kicking game and a good defence, but they weren’t able to keep the ball in hand, but they’ve carried forth the Currie Cup strategy on attack so players like Kolbe, Damian de Allende and Dillyn Leyds are getting a real opportunity with ball in hand.'
On the Bulls and Handré Pollard
'It was a complete performance by the Bulls. The real difference was Pollard. He was absolutely fantastic today. He was head and shoulders above every other backline player on the field. The way he attacked the line, passed, defended, the gaps he took – he was a class apart.
'The Cheetahs had good possession and territory, but unfortunately they couldn’t make it count and they missed 19 out of 70 tackles, which is not good enough.'
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