What NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks’ Rugby Championship victory over the Wallabies at Ellis Park on Saturday.
‘What was really good was before this game people were saying who after Faf de Klerk? Suddenly we have Cobus Reinach playing well when he came on and we have Herschel Jantjies, with a Man of the Match performance on debut. That is so good for the team.
‘The same with Elton Jantjies, who has battled at the Boks for a while now, but there he was playing at Ellis Park and he was able to came through with a good kicking record today. Elton kicked beautifully and as the forwards started to dominate he began to play better because he was much standing much flatter. He grew into the game well.
‘We know that Handre Pollard and Faf de Klerk are the No 1 halfback pairing, but going into the World Cup it won’t be a complete disaster if one of them get injured. You feel as though you got a bit of strength in depth there which is important.
‘In fact, he wasn’t in control in the first half but it was a better last 20 minutes by Elton because he looked a little more comfortable having Francois Steyn on his outside. Steyn was brilliant when he came on in the last quarter, he gave direction in the team. And he gave poor, old Bernard Foley a terrible time in that flyhalf channel because he ran at him off the back of scrums and got momentum every single time.
‘Set pieces are a very important part of our game and I thought both front rows were outstanding, but Beast Mtawarira just absolutely came out on top of them. We’ve said what a great [Vodacom] Super Rugby campaign Lizo Gqoboka has had and when he came on the scrums were just as affective.
‘Sekope Kepu’s tendency is to go to ground as soon as he is under pressure and he did it early on and the ref allowed him to get away with it. But then it was obvious that he was the guy at fault and he started getting penalised regularly. And that was a very big part of why we dominanted in the first half.
‘What I’ve heard through the players and the coaching staff is that it is a very united camp. The players respect each other and have been going flat out in training against each other.
‘Honesty is the most important things in this team. The players know exactly where they stood three weeks ago. They knew who was going to start this game and who was going over to New Zealand earlier.
‘This win is so good for the Boks because the team in New Zealand will have watched this and will be saying “listen some guys really put their hands up and it’s important for us now to perform well against the All Blacks”. It’s hard to win there but they did it last year and I think we are going to see a passionate performance from them next week.’