• ‘Le Roux caused absolute mayhem’

    What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Test matches on Saturday.

    SOUTH AFRICA vs WALES

    'It was a particularly good first half. The game was won by half-time.'

    'The second half was very frustrating because Wales held onto the ball and South Africa made a couple of handling mistakes. It was a little bit frustrating in the second half that we went back to playing one-off runners. I didn't see Willie le Roux touch the ball on attack in the 20 or 30 minutes that he was on the field in the second half.

    'He is our best creative player; whenever he had the ball he created mayhem and in the first half we got four tries from it. Le Roux's handling was absolutely brilliant, his straight running, his ability to use that little chip. His control under the high ball, which used to be a weakness, has become a real strength for him. He provides the spark to our backline. Not only does he score tries but he creates so many opportunities for the players around him. He had an absolutely fantastic game.

    'Our defence was good today. We held them and held them but we started getting fewer and fewer turnovers in the second half. The problem is our forwards work so hard. Our forwards are involved in ball-carrying, they're involved in defence, they're involved in scrums and lineouts. We use our forwards a lot, so as the game progresses they get quite tired, so on attack we're less effective. The one-off runners didn't play with as much momentum as they did in the first half.

    'The quality of the ball that the forwards gave the halfbacks allowed Morné Steyn to control the game in that first half. I thought his tactical kicking was very good. He popped the ball into the corners, turned them around, allowing us to play a lot of rugby in their half. It was only when we got a little bit tired and we weren't as quickly over the ball in the second half, that we allowed Wales the chance to hold onto the ball for longer periods. Perhaps there was a chance to get an openside flank on the field for those final 20 minutes of the game to keep on putting pressure on the opposition breakdown.

    'We are moving the ball, creating tries for our outside players and we even got a try from a driving maul, so all in all it was a very good, balanced performance.'

    NEW ZEALAND vs ENGLAND

    'I think if we're looking at it now, a year out from the World Cup, the four teams that look like semi-finalists are New Zealand, South Africa, England and Australia.

    'England are definitely matching the southern hemisphere teams at the moment. To go to New Zealand and compete, 20-15, 28-27 and a third Test to come. They would've come off that field thinking that this was another opportunity they let get away. Being at home [in the World Cup] we know what an advantage that is, from the crowd to the refereeing. England have improved and will be a big threat next year.'

    AUSTRALIA vs FRANCE

    'There's a simple premise in rugby: If your forwards do not dominate then it doesn't matter what backs you've got on the field, they're not going to run rings around the opposition.

    'If you look at that Australian pack, there are no ball carriers in that pack who make me nervous. They don't have anyone like Duane Vermeulen, Willem Alberts or Bismarck du Plessis. We've got tons who come around the corner and get us across the advantage line. They were stopped on the advantage line by a very aggressive French defence. If you're stopped on the advantage line, you cannot then launch your backs.

    '[Israel] Folau and the like never got the ball on the front foot. They did last week against that mixed and matched French team that didn't have much heart, and they murdered them.'

    Photo: Luke Walker/Getty Images

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    Nick Mallett