‘Let’s back the Boks’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Boks’ World Cup quarter-final win against Wales.

'Both teams were very much territorial based. They wanted to play out of their half, and they were very scared of giving away penalties. Both teams were penalised when they tried to play in their own half. Wales scored a good try and I think Willie le Roux was to blame for that, but South Africa scored a great try at the end when they really needed it.

'We always speak about a team that matches South Africa on the gainline. Wales were tremendous on defence, they were forced to tackle, but it wasn't complicated. There weren't dummy runners, there were big forwards coming at you, with two cleaners on their shoulder and another big forward …

'Our game plan is not to make mistakes, we retain possession and retain possession, and the opposition have to tackle. We always made yards, and most of the forwards got over the advantage line, but if we play the All Blacks, and they get off the line quickly, that's what will be a bit worrying. When we do get across the advantage line, it gives time to Fourie du Preez to make good decisions, but if we're tackled behind the advantage line and they [the opposition] get off the line quickly, that is when we'll be under pressure.

'Remember that Wales came off a great win against England, a hugely physical game when they had to draw on their mental resources. Fiji was a tough game and then they had the disappointment of losing to the Wallabies in a physical game, so this was another really big game played within a few weeks. That's why I thought their line speed, especially from their forwards, wasn't as good. Their backs were very good off their line, but their forwards weren't, and that allowed us a bit of momentum.

'I think our scrummaging was excellent, we had no problem on our ball, and we scored a try from the base of an attacking scrum and we put them under some pressure. Our lineout was very good, we stole a couple of their balls and our breakdown work was very good. We had players competing at the breakdown intelligently and we turned over some vital ball, and I think we played defensively well.

'Our tactical kicking was poor and some of our kicking was inaccurate from our backline players. We relied on Fourie to get us out of trouble, but the positive is that we were in the game the whole time, although we have to kick our penalties.

'Let's not be negative after this win, though, we've made the semi-finals, so let's back these guys. We can do it.'

Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images

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Nick Mallett