That pass still has SA buzzing

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Monday, April 10, 2017    Getty Images

Former Springboks coach Nick Mallett said on SuperSport after the game that
Leyds' pass to Marais had been exceptional, 'absolutely staggering'.

But what was more impressive was the way the Stormers coaching staff had transformed the side.


"What [coach] Robbie Fleck has done well, is share the responsibility of the various aspects of the game," he said.

"Paul Treu is in charge of defence and he should be proud of their effort, particularly in the second half.

"The breakdown is being handled by John Dobson and the improvement in the Stormers' breakdown work has been extraordinary. Their cleaning is clinical, the presentation of the ball is outstanding and they get quick ball.

"Then, of course, Fleck brought in [New Zealander] Paul Feeney as the skills coach and there is no question that he has given the players confidence to make good decisions on the ball," he said.

What had been especially impressive was the fact a South African side could hold onto the ball for long periods against a New Zealand side without conceding possession.

"The Chiefs' first two tries came from poor kicks by the Stormers, but obviously there was a message in the Stormers' change room that they should hold onto the ball. And they turned it around.

"We always said their first test would be against a New Zealand team, especially after that choking loss against the Chiefs last year. They've made massive strides this year in terms of team progress and coaching, and the evidence was on the field on Saturday," Mallett said.

"This was a fantastic game to watch, and for the Stormers to come out on top is brilliant. It was a game where they had to pull out all the stops in all departments. The Chiefs contributed, as they always do, to a skilful and vibrant game," he said.