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Mallett keeping his chin up
Johannesburg
March 14, 2000

While everybody else is down in the dumps about the South African performances in the Vodacom Super 12 series this weekend, Springbok coach Nick Mallett is keeping his chin up.

"It's to early to become panicky. We aren't even halfway through the Super 12 competition yet. Yes, it was most definitely a disappointing weekend for the South African teams but there is no reason to panic," the Bok coach said.

He was commenting on the Sharks' and Cats' poor performances in their respective losses to the Brumbies (10-51) and the Waratahs (16-51), as well as the Stormers' and Bulls' below par display in their Newlands encounter that ended in a 19-all draw.

But although Mallett is not concerned about the play dished up by local teams up to now, he was concerned about the one-dimensional patterns on show. "Our teams should vary their game more," he said.

He added that the responsibility to improve play rests with the respective unions from which the players are selected. "SARFU doesn't contract players for the Super 12. It is an aspect that will have to be investigated."

Cats coach Laurie Mains has already suggested that SARFU should contract and control Super 12 players because they tended to seek greener pastures as soon as the season drew to a close.

After the shocking defeats suffered by the Sharks and the Cats, the South African rugby public pointed their collective finger at Mallett and said the regional teams were following his pattern of play. "As far as the Super 12 concerns me, I don't dictate what patterns of play the teams should follow. My focus is on individual players who can perhaps play for the Springboks this year."

"I discuss certain things with them, but the coaches of each regional team determines their pattern of play. These patterns depend on the strong and weak points of the respective teams," Mallett said.

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