Cape Town – Former national coach Nick Mallett has questioned the Springboks’ tactics during their loss to Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.
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Los Pumas scored four tries in a 32-19 victory to turn the tables on the Springboks who beat them 34-21 a week earlier in Durban.
Mallett, who commented on the game in the SuperSport studio, said the Springboks played too much off their scrumhalf Faf de Klerk.
The former Bok mentor said it was the flyhalf’s job to run proceedings and in this regard Handre Pollard fell short.
“We played off nine (scrumhalf) a lot. It was just pods off nine, all the time, using our physicality. They varied the point of attack,” Mallett said.
Mallett took note of the earlier game in Auckland where All Black flyhalf Beauden Barrett was the star of the show, scoring four tries in a 40-12 annihilation of the Wallabies.
“We watched a game (earlier today) where Barrett is the guy who conducts the entire proceedings. He is making the calls. I didn’t get the impression that Pollard was running the show. It looked like Faf and the forwards were running the show. I think the flyhalf must run the show. He can call it so the forwards get the ball but it must be his call. (Nicolas) Sanchez (Argentina flyhalf) was organising them better than Pollard was organising us,” Mallet noted.
Mallett also said the Springboks made far too many mistakes.
“It was an error-ridden performance, in that first half especially. On attack, in the second half, we had a number of opportunities that we managed to mess up. It was a very disappointing game,” he added.
“We have to give a lot of credit to Argentina. We speak about their physicality and they certainly showed that, on defence in particular. They showed a lot of skill on attack, some great passing and the try they scored just after half-time was the nail in the coffin.
“The three tries in the first half were off our defensive errors and that really shouldn’t happen at this level. There was naive defence from our midfielders. Those were basic defensive errors we were making and soft tries they scored. On attack, we made some serious mistakes but it’s on defence that we were really found wanting.”