What NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Vodacom Super Rugby matches at Kings Park and Newlands.
Sharks vs Blues
‘The first half went really well [for the Sharks] but it was an uncomfortable second half with lots of disciplinary issues. The Sharks had three or four occasions where they could have secured the ball and get out of their half and knocked it on. So they made life difficult for themselves.
‘It was a great interception at the end of the game. A very good tackle in midfield jolted the ball loose and allowed them to finish comfortably. But with 20 minutes to go, there was a nerve-wracking moment where you felt the Blues could score two tries quite easily, especially with a yellow card to Ruan Botha.
‘The TMO came in on a couple of occasions which also saved the Sharks. Legitimately, because there was a player held back [for the Blues’ first ‘try’]. He didn’t come in for the kick out of the hand of Cameron Wright at the end of the game. That did have an influence on the game because had the Blues been awarded that try it would have been even closer.’
Stormers vs Lions
‘[Malcolm] Marx goes in and he has got a hand on the ball. Look at the positioning of [referee] Egon Seconds. He can’t see that, but the touch judge can see it. Why isn’t the assistant referee saying penalty to the Lions? Marx gets over the ball, everyone else is on the ground so he has a right to play the ball and he holds onto it for six seconds without earning a penalty.
‘There are two issues there. First of all, very poor positioning from Seconds. The Stormers get a penalty as opposed to the Lions. If the Lions get a penalty they clear and end the game in the Stormers’ half. The second thing is what is the assistant referee doing to assist the referee? It is bang in front of him. Why can’t he say penalty to the Lions?
‘It is just outside the 22. If the Lions get the penalty they deserve, a left-footed kicker would take it into the Stormers half. The time I think is about 77 minutes. The whole end of the game would have been different.
‘It is absolutely crucial that referees get those things right because for a Lions supporter it must be very very difficult sitting and having to digest this loss, which they didn’t deserve.
‘The Stormers were deliriously happy at the end of the game. It’s the first try that they scored, which was after 165 minutes [over two games]. They were going for a pushover try and the ball shot out so it wasn’t even a planned thing. Herschel Jantjies did brilliantly and the only error Kwagga Smith made in the whole game is to continue pushing and suddenly Herschel is around him.’
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