Cape Town – Former Springbok coach Nick Mallett was not impressed by the Stormers’ 31-18 win over the Jaguares at Newlands on Saturday.
The Cape side stayed alive in the competition following their victory but missed out on a try-scoring bonus point after the Japanese outfit struck late in the game.
Speaking in the SuperSport studio afterwards, Mallett said: “This was an error-strewn game, but let’s give credit to the Sunwolves and their scrum. They have the Georgian hooker Jaba Bregvadze who is about 45-years-old (Bregvadze is 32 actually) there and he held that scrum together rather nicely until about the last quarter.
“Obviously their tactics were to keep the score down so they kicked a lot to make sure the Stormers play from deep and that’s because most teams know South African sides don’t practice counter-attack a lot and that you’re pretty safe if you kick the ball behind them.
“From a Stormers point of view, I don’t know why they ran on with a tee when they were eight points ahead only to go 11 ahead. Why didn’t they go for the extra try rather, which would have given them a bonus point. That extra point could prove crucial in the final countdown.”
The Stormers should still make the playoffs with a victory against the Sharks at Newlands next weekend but an eighth-placed finish would earn them a quarter-final date with the defending champion Crusaders in Christchurch.
Mallett added: “The accuracy just wasn’t there for the Stormers. At times even the Sunwolves showed they were able to win quick ball as was evident in their last try when they turned the ball over quickly. The Stormers were laboured. There were just too many passes that didn’t go to hand and too many knock-ons.
“The game was littered with Stormers mistakes. And it was basically the big guys, the forwards who’s body positioning, timing of their runs and especially their understanding of when to offload were just not good. Unfortunately, the Stormers have a lot to work on to improve. It was a shocking first half and I’m being kind to the Stormers when I say I hope it’s only because of all the new players they had in the team.