Super Rugby

Nick Mallett lauds ‘smart’ Stormers

Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)
Nick Mallett (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett has lauded the Stormers for getting their tactics right in Saturday’s 31-11 win over the Brumbies at Newlands.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck had expressed his desire to play running rugby and more of the same was expected.

However, the Stormers kicked often in this game and in doing so turned the Brumbies’ big forwards and backs around.

It prevented the Brumbies from building momentum, forced them to play from deep and reduced the influence of their dangerous fetchers.

Mallett, speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, heaped praise on the Stormers.

He said: “The Stormers were smart and their tactics against the Brumbies were excellent. They decided to turn the Brumbies’ big wingers, played on their inexperienced fullback and kept their forwards going backwards at the rucks and mauls instead of forward to offensive tackles. The Stormers also took their opportunities whenever the Brumbies made mistakes. What everyone anticipated was a dominant Brumbies performance at the breakdown if the Stormers kept on playing in front of their defence, like they did against the Sharks, but they changed their game plan around and created real problems for the likes of David Pocock and Scott Fardy.

“In this game I wouldn’t have counted more than five lineouts that the Brumbies had in an attacking position. So the Stormers made sure that whenever the Brumbies won the ball it was in their half or between the 10m lines. In addition, when the Stormers’ smaller backs ran on to the ball off turnover possession they were very dangerous, but off first-phase ball, running against bigger defensive backs, they were ineffective. The loose trio of Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr and Schalk Burger were excellent against world-class opposition, as were the front five.”