‘Stormers have made massive strides’

What former Bok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the past weekend's Super Rugby matches at Newlands and Kings Park.

Stormers vs Chiefs

‘This was a fantastic game to watch, and for the Stormers to come out on top is brilliant. It was a game where they had to pull out all the stops in all departments. The Chiefs contributed, as they always do, to a skillful and vibrant game.

‘None of the Stormers players had a poor game. They all got stuck in and played as a team with a well-organised game plan. A lot of credit has to go to Robert du Preez, Dan du Plessis and EW Viljoen. They were up against outstanding backline players, who often bring three or four defenders down the same channel, and they did well to prevent the Chiefs from scoring from first phase. Siya Kolisi thoroughly deserved to be Man of the Match, closely followed by Cheslin Kolbe, who stopped two certain tries with interceptions, and then that pass from Dillyn Leyds was absolutely staggering.

WATCH: Dillyn Leyds’ incredible pass to SP Marais

‘What Robbie Fleck has done well, is share the responsibility of the various aspects of the game. Paul Treu is in charge of defence and he should be proud of their effort, particularly in the second half. The breakdown is being handled by John Dobson and the improvement in the Stormers’ breakdown work has been extraordinary. Their cleaning is clinical, the presentation of the ball is outstanding and they get quick ball. Then, of course, Fleck brought in [New Zealander] Paul Feeny as the skills coach and there is no question that he has given the players confidence to make good decisions on the ball.

‘What was really special was that a South African side proved that they can hold on to the ball for long periods of time against a New Zealand franchise without conceding possession. The first Chiefs’ first two tries came from poor kicks by the Stormers, but obviously there was a message in the Stormers changeroom that they should hold on to the ball. And they turned it around. We always said their first test would be against a New Zealand team, especially after that choking loss against the Chiefs last year. They’ve made massive strides this year in terms of team progress and coaching, and the evidence was on the field on Saturday.

‘For me there were two issues in that first half,  regarding the officiating. Firstly I thought the yellow card to Cobus Wiese was harsh. And then James Lowe took out Viljoen in the air without any consequences. That should have been a penalty at least and probably a yellow card.'

VIDEO: Highlights of Stormers vs Chiefs

Sharks vs Jaguares

‘This wasn’t a great game of rugby. There were 34 handling errors and not to mention 15 penalties throughout the match. It was just a stop-start game. Yes, it was an important game for the Sharks to win and come away with four log points against their nearest rivals [in the Africa 2 conference], but it was all very disjointed. The Sharks did have opportunities, they just didn’t take them.

‘Cobus Reinach was taking the ball too close to the opposition before making passes, which put the receiver under pressure. We must give credit to the Jaguares for their defence, which was in the face of the Sharks all the time. But from a skills point of view, it was a low quality game all-round.

‘One of the problems for the Sharks was the inexperience of Inny Radebe at flyhalf. Playing Curwin Bosch at fullback broke up the continuity of the Sharks’ attack. Compared to the game at Newlands, this was a car in second gear, compared to a Ferrari going in fifth gear.’

VIDEO: Highlights of Sharks vs Jaguares

Photo: Rodger Bosch/Getty Images

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Nick Mallett