Cape Town - Former national coach Nick Mallett has lauded the Springboks after they snatched a 16-16 draw with the All Blacks in Wellington over the weekend.
A try after the hooter by replacement scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies enabled the Springboks to level matters having been on the back foot for most of the second half.
Speaking in the SuperSport studio after the game, Mallett said: "This was just a brilliant result with hard work by the team. They were under the cosh a bit with the penalty count in the second half. But they came back at the end because they believed.
"The crucial sub was Trevor Nyakane coming on. Frans Malherbe was puffing and as Trevor came on we started to get a bit of dominance at scrum at time. And it was a penalty at scrum time that gave us the opportunity to kick out, get a lineout and have an attacking play. Willie le Roux does a run-around and then there’s a beautiful chip by Cheslin Kolbe."
Mallett also had high praise for the work-rate of loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit.
"And who's running up the middle? A guy with an engine that goes all day. Pieter-Steph du Toit. Thank goodness he didn't touch the ball and Herschel Jantjies scored. Jantjies had a fantastic impact when he came on. Speed of service was excellent and his defence was good. He should retire right row because it isn't possible for him to get any better."
Mallett also lauded the Springbok defence for keeping the hosts to only a solitary try.
"What I liked about the Springbok defence was that they read the deep pass well and kept on pressing forward. I thought is was definitely a case of defences dominating both attacks because the Boks' attack was also pretty static because they were knocked behind the advantage line by the All Blacks' press defence and we did the same to them."