Former South Africa and Italy head coach Nick Mallett has blasted the standard of South African rugby, following the recent dour derbies played out between the Sharks and the Cheetahs and the Lions and the Stormers in Super Rugby.
Mallett, appearing in his current capacity as a SuperSport rugby pundit, claimed that the “ball skills in South Africa need a tremendous amount of work,” before appealing to schoolboy coaches to focus more on this aspect of the game.
He fears South Africa falling away from New Zealand, and a glance at the Super Rugby log at the moment would appear to back up his claim – four of the five South African provinces sit in the bottom half of the table, while Stormers have scored a measly 123 points in eight games (an average of just over 15 points per game).
Mallett goes on to say that “it’s no surprise that Heyneke Meyer [head coach of the South African national team] decides to play a very limited game plan with the Springboks”, referring to the forward and territory-based game the national side tends to utilise. Whilst that might be true at times, there is no doubt that the Springboks were a cut above the rest of the chasing pack last season, and the epic at Ellis Park proved that they do have players who possess the skills to play an expansive game.
His full rant is below – have a watch and let us know what you think. Is he being fair, or out of line?