Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was not impressed by the quality of rugby dished up in Saturday night’s South African Super Rugby derby between the Bulls and Cheetahs in Pretoria.
The Bulls won the clash at Loftus Versfeld by 23-18, but the game was highlighted by several unforced error from both sides.
Mallett afterwards commented on the game in the SuperSport studio and he was not impressed, saying the previous night’s clash between the Lions and Crusaders - which the New Zealanders won 43-37 - was of a much higher quality.
“This was a very error-ridden game,” Mallett said of the clash at Loftus Versfeld. “There were just too many handling errors, mistakes and poor decision-making. Both teams are trying to play attractive rugby, but it doesn’t appear as if the whole team is properly focused on what the ball-carrier is trying to do.
“It was an exciting game only because it was quite close, but the quality of it didn't compare to the Lions-Crusaders game. I’d say the Bulls and the Cheetahs are reasonably close as two teams and I don’t think they’ll be challenging for the playoff spots.
“Over the past 10 years, the Bulls had a dominant scrum and a very scrumhalf-directed game, with someone like Fourie du Preez. Now they don’t have a dominating pack, which has forced them to try establish a running game and it’s taking time.”