• ‘Where is the consistency?’

    What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about the Rugby Championship matches in Perth and Napier.

    Australia vs South Africa

    'It was a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. We had the game in our hands. We were given the penalty, with a couple minutes left on the clock. After a period of fantastic defence, keeping them out with 14 men and a shocking decision by the referee to yellow card Bryan Habana. The bravery and courage of our defence was almost good enough to hold out, but Morné Steyn missed touch. He does so many things well for this side, but you can't miss touch at the end of the game. We kick that out, we throw to Victor Matfield, we win the ball and maul up the field and close the game out. That was a dreadful mistake from Morné Steyn.

    'Australia are a poor team at the moment. They are a side lacking in confidence – they took 50 points against the All Blacks last week – and they were there for the taking. We were leading 23-14 at one stage with 10 minutes to go. To win this game the Boks had to dominate at the set phases and in the contact areas. There isn't one Wallabies tight forward who would make the Bok team. It's one of the weakest tight fives I've seen in international rugby. They're into their fourth hooker, and he could hardly hit his lineout jumpers today. If we can't dominate that front five and control the game territorially with our kicking, we're not going to be able to do that against the All Blacks.

    'What worried me was some aimless kicking from our halves. Secondly, we have an inability to use the grubber as an attacking weapon. The All Blacks used it to score two tries, the first try from Australia came from a grubber. Why aren't we kicking shallow grubbers in wet weather? Bring the fullback forward, get our players to run onto it and turn their defence around. We're just banging it into the air and hoping for the opposition to make a mistake.

    'Duane Vermeulen hit him with his arm around the chest, and the ref said he rode up. There was a very late tackle on Jean de Villiers that was high and the referee penalises the Australian, but there was no question of a yellow card. So how can he not give a yellow card against Duane, not give a yellow card for the Australian tackle and then give one for Bryan Habana's tackle? It doesn't make sense, where is the consistency?'

    New Zealand vs Argentina

    'I thought it was a very good quality game between these two, but there were two extraordinary decisions taken by Pascal Gauzère in that game. Not penalising an early tackle on Savea, which arguably was close to a penalty try. And then you get the charged down kick, which was absolutely unbelievable. The Pumas would've been very disappointed with that decision with the scores at 18-6. It was a charge down kick by the lock, the ball came back into his hands and he scored. It was very tough on Argentina. Those were two crucial errors in a high-profile game, it was really poor refereeing.

    'To be honest, who would want to be a referee. The pressure on that individual is so great. Given that the pressure is so great, surely you'd want to give him as much assistance as possible to make the right decision. Instead of saying that he's the sole judge of fact, rather let both touch judges come on and debate a situation along with the TMO.'

    Photo: Scott Barbour/Gallo Images

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    Nick Mallett