As it happened: Italy v Springboks
The Boks held a slender 8-6 lead in the second half when coach Heyneke Meyer made a number of substitutions that appeared to spark the Boks into action.
They eventually won 22-6 to extend their unbeaten run against Italy.
But substitutes Carr and Le Roux in particular caught the eye of Mallett, himself a former coach of Italy.
Speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, Mallett said:
“It was a very stuttering performance by the Boks. We played into the hands of a physical, defensive side like Italy. When Italy had the ball they showed more variety and skill, with the ball going through the hands more than our backline did. We were our own worst enemies with our running lines - particularly Jan Serfontein, who goes straight across the field instead of straightening and creating space.
“Had Nizaam Carr and Willie le Roux not come onto the field it might've been 8-6 and the Italians might've stuck a penalty over to embarrass us. They seem to be the two players who run at shoulders, are capable of breaking the line and have the ability to find the offload.
“We didn't take our opportunities in the
first half. JP Pietersen might've had a try in the first half but Pat Lambie's
pass was a bit short. Had he scored there, we'd have got ourselves 14 points
ahead of them and the game would've had a different feel to it.”
The Boks take on Wales in Cardiff this Saturday to conclude their year-end tour.