‘Disallowed try unfair on Sharks’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about Saturday's matches involving South African teams.

On the Stormers

'It was a very niggly game and it was probably because of how much was resting on this result, for both sides. Both teams were very physical, they played a lot of direct rugby. There were a lot of off-the-ball incidents – a lot of holding, pulling of jerseys and just getting up each other's noses. Nic White needs a good klap quite frankly, and someone will give it to him. He rushed around inciting a lot of those incidents.

'The penalty count was 19 to the Stormers and five to the Brumbies and it made them very frustrated because they felt [referee] Stuart Berry was just looking at one side rather than the game as a whole. The Stormers had to scrape out a win and they did thanks to Christian Leali'ifano missing a kick from straight in front of the posts.'

On the scrums

'The Stormers were very dominant at the scrums and the Brumbies understood that. They were doing their best to avoid scrums and, when they had to have them, they knew the Stormers weren't going to clear the ball from the base of the scrum. They were going to come with a double shove every time to buy a penalty. So it became an area of contention for the Brumbies. They were doing their best to not give away penalties, but they couldn't help themselves. And the frustration boiled over into other areas of the game.'

On Schalk Burger

'Not only was his physicality there, his defence was there, but he made a couple of crucial turnovers. There was one in the 22 where he held up David Pocock and it was very crucial. It was 80 minutes of all-action from him.'

On the Lions

'It was an absolutely outstanding comeback. The Highlanders started very well. There were some very aggressive runners, running very straight and creating an overlap. At half-time they were up against it. And it's what we've seen from the Lions all season, an ability to keep playing, keep holding onto the ball, keep creating opportunities and their never-say-die attitude they've shown. 

'The forwards really took control of the game in the tight phases during the second half. Their scrum was very strong again, they really put pressure on the Highlanders and won a number of penalties. Also the driving maul was very effective. We haven't seen much of that from them this year. And I thought Jaco Kriel had another superb game. We're really blessed in this country with our loose forwards. We've just got so many good players in those three positions.'

On the Sharks' disallowed try

'To me it looked like a perfect driving maul. The player who took the lineout transferred the ball and then they drove through the middle with a lot of momentum and the Sharks scored. Some referees are looking for when a team changes the channel of the maul and that's what the referee seemed to blow for, but it seemed very unfair on the Sharks. It was no different to the try the Lions scored against the Highlanders or the countless Springbok tries I've seen over the years.

'I've never seen anyone injured in a collapsed maul, ever. So why don't we allow the maul to be collapsed? A team should be allowed to sack the maul. It commits defenders to bringing it down which means there will be less people on their feet to defend when a side plays the ball to the backs.'

Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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Nick Mallett