Mallett unimpressed by 'hopeless, embarrassing' Bulls

Johnny Kotze (Gallo Images)
Johnny Kotze (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was not impressed by the Bulls' efforts in their 39-24 Super Rugby defeat to the Jaguares in Pretoria at the weekend.

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It was the Bulls' fourth straight defeat to start the season and leaves them languishing at the bottom of the standings.

Speaking in the SuperSport studio after the game, Mallett highlighted a "comedy of errors" on attack and defence from the Bulls.

"Whenever they were on attack, they would just use one-off runners, which is the easiest way for any defence to defend against. The attack was hopeless and their defence was embarrassing. There was a clear lack of understanding on how to defend a counter-attack and how to defend a shifting centre," Mallett said.

Mallett called on the senior players in the Bulls team to stand up and be counted.

"The experienced players that the Bulls signed were utterly invisible in this game, quite frankly. Juandre Kruger should be leading from the front, but he was nowhere and I hardly saw Josh Strauss. These are the guys should actually be bringing the youngsters along with them, but they are not producing enough aggression and are not leading from the front, which is what the Bulls need and why they were signed for.

"The lineouts were poor, I think they lost five out of 13 on their own throw and that is inexcusable. And their discipline was really poor. So there wasn't a single thing that stood out. You cannot compete at this level playing like that. It's just a shambles. It's back to the drawing board for the Bulls."

Mallett also commented on the Stormers' 33-14 defeat to the Blues at Newlands - the Cape side's first loss of the season.

The Stormers slipped 37 tackles and Mallett said they were tactically outfoxed by the Blues.

"The reason why the Stormers' defence was poor was because the Blues were unpredictable. They didn't run one-off runners off nine. They used the width of the field, stationed their loose forwards out wide causing chaos on the outside and that variety created difficulty in defence for the Stormers.

"The Blues created mismatches and that is what you're looking for. It was intelligent backs against dumb forwards and big forwards against little backs. By contrast, the Stormers showed none of that today," Mallett stressed.

The Cape side couldn't dominate at scrum time as they had in previous games and struggled to get on the front-foot.

Mallett added: "If the Stormers don't dominate with their front row against a team, if they don't get on the front foot with those scrum penalties, kicking to the corner and getting their driving maul going, then they don't have the intensity to get off the line with urgency. They didn't have any of that because the Blues nullified them.

"So, looking ahead, they really have to consider what to do when that happens again. Because the Brumbies, Crusaders and Chiefs - who they play on tour - are all going to control the Stormers pack. You need to be able to play the game without getting five or six scrum penalties every game, which the Stormers had up to this point. And in this game, they didn't get them and they were in a lot of difficulty."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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