‘Etzebeth was outstanding’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Springboks' match against the World XV.

'It was a very similar game to last year's [between the Boks and World XV]. The World XV tried very hard but the intensity was with the Springboks, especially on defence. A lot of the Boks' tries came from turnovers, and lots of tries came from the Boks' half. The World XV would run out of numbers, lose the ball in the tackle, and didn't have the scramble defence or energy to get back like a Test team would.

'I thought the World XV performed really well and took it to the Springboks. It was very good preparation for the Boks going into the Australia Test [in Brisbane] and I think they can be very happy with their performance. We can now look forward to next weekend's game with a bit of confidence.

'Damian de Allende played well, Willie le Roux had a great game, Eben Etzebeth was outstanding, Jesse Kriel was great and so was Marcell Coetzee. And then the guys who came on in the second half … Vincent Koch had an outstanding 30 minutes, Schalk Burger was exceptional and it was lovely to see Jean de Villiers and Cobus Reinach back from injury.

'There was one disappointing aspect of this game. It was played in northern hemisphere-type conditions, and I was a bit disappointed with Handré Pollard's kicking performance. Going into a World Cup, you would want your flyhalf to have a 75% goal-kicking success rate. He had some difficult goal kicks but you would want him to kick better than that. There were also two charge-down kicks, which could be very costly in a World Cup.

'I'd say it's probably [tickets] for JJ Engelbrecht [as far as World Cup selection is concerned]. Maybe Flip van der Merwe could still play a role [for the Boks] if they keep getting injuries. But Pieter-Steph du Toit and Lood de Jager will be coming back. You've also got Etzebeth and Victor Matfield playing well and I can see those four locks going to the World Cup.

'If [Ireland's] John Lacey is an example of how northern hemisphere referees are going to referee at the World Cup then the Boks are really going to have to brush up on their discipline, because they gave away more penalties [than the World XV] and received two yellow cards.'

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

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Nick Mallett