‘Sharks right back in playoff mix’

What former Bok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the past weekend's Super Rugby matches involving South African teams.

Jaguares vs Sharks

'It was a fantastic match and an excellent win for the Sharks. The Jaguares are a good side who haven’t lost at home before this clash, but we could see the Sharks were desperate to win it. This result puts them right back in the mix for the playoffs.

'There were a couple of Sharks players who really put their hands up. Rhyno Smith was outstanding from the back, Michael Claassens played well and Etienne Oosthuizen was exceptional throughout the match. Coenie Oosthuizen and Thomas du Toit also played their part. We haven’t seen a team performance like this from the Sharks in a long time.

VIDEO: Highlights of Jaguares vs Sharks

'I think the message to the Sharks was that they are allowed to offload. There were lots of little passes in the tackle, which helped them maintain the continuity. And they held possession well against a very physical and well-organised Jaguares side. By keeping all 15 players on the field, the Sharks were able to play to their structure, which destabilised the hosts.'

Kings vs Rebels

'It was a good day for the Kings and it this match was miles better than the Rebels against the Sharks last weekend.

'What’s been good about this Kings team is the work-rate of the players. They get off the floor and back into position quickly, they are contesting the ruck and making sure they slow down and spoil it for the opposition. That all contributed to the Rebels’ hopelessness.

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'At least the Kings managed to score tries to entertain us. I thought the eighthman Andile Ntsila and both the wingers [Wandile Mjekevu and Makazole Mapimpi] as well as the replacements all played exceptionally well.

'The Rebels have very little cutting edge. They are structured and play off No 9 a lot, but in this game they played without a scrumhalf because both their No 9s were injured. It was a really shocking Rebels display. They were absolutely abject and we could see in the post-match presentation their captain was bemused as to how they could possibly have played so poorly.'

WATCH: Highlights of Kings vs Rebels

Cheetahs vs Crusaders

'We always anticipated that the Crusaders would have too much class in the end and run out winners. The fact that they had two yellow cards might have made it easier for the Cheetahs if they had stayed in the game, but by then Cheetahs were too far behind.

'I don’t agree with the officials about that disallowed try that Sergeal Petersen scored. The TMO says there is compelling evidence that Ox Nche’s pass was forward. Where is there compelling evidence? Ox’s hand is going backwards as he delivers the ball. That was a wonderful try and there was no reason for TMO Johan Greeff to interfere.

WATCH: Highlights of Cheetahs vs Crusaders

'That decision worked out as a 14-point turnaround against the Cheetahs, because from the ensuing scrum, Richie Mo’unga put in a very well-placed cross-kick for George Bridge, who ran the length of the field to score for the Crusaders.

'The point I’m trying to make is that if as a TMO you are not absolutely certain, you should not be coming in and making a decision to go back and check on something. Ox ran over Kieran Read and Joe Moody, two All Blacks, to set up that wonderful try and it was disappointing that they didn’t get it. I can say more than that, but I won’t.'

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Photo: Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images

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Nick Mallett