Cape Town – Former national coach Nick Mallett says the Springboks were “fortunate” to escape with a victory over Argentina in Pretoria on Saturday.
Winger S‘bu Nkosi starred with two spectacular tries that saw South Africa eke out a 24-18 victory at Loftus Versfeld.
“It was a disappointing match. Apart from S‘bu Nkosi’s superb performance, it was a frustrating game with lots of stoppages and mistakes,” Mallett said in the SuperSport studio afterwards.
“And that‘s understandable when you play a pick up side like this. These guys, although they might have been part of the camp, hardly any of them have played together. And getting Marcell Coetzee off so early also disrupted things.
“Give full credit to Argentina because their intensity was far better, they held up better in the scrums than they did last week and they just got set piece ball comfortably.”
The Pumas thought they had taken the lead with three minutes left when debutant Lucas Mensa touched down, but the try was disallowed for earlier obstruction by fellow centre Jeronimo de la Fuente.
“It could have been anyone’s game. But for an obstruction there was a wonderful try – or non-try – they scored at the end there with a little chip and catch and pass. And the referee and TMO decided there was an obstruction on Vincent Koch. So the Boks were reasonably fortunate to get through this game,” Mallett added.
The former Bok mentor added that not many Boks
“I took a look and apart from S‘bu Nkosi, Jesse Kriel, Elton Jantjies, Coetzee – who was good for the very short time he was on the field – and maybe Frans Steyn when he came on, I didn‘t think anyone else really put their hand up.
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“Both locks (RG Snyman and Lood de Jager) were quiet, but it was one of those games where there wasn’t any continuity and they’re both good with continuity so I think they‘ll go to the World Cup.”