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Big tick for McKenzie from Mallett

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Sunday, May 13, 2018    Getty Images

The Chiefs effort in winning 15-9 occurred through their control of the ball and their control of territory throughout the game, Mallett said on supersport.co.za.

"I thought Damian McKenzie had an excellent game, his kicking game was good and he is also a threat himself [with ball in hand].

"The Stormers had to make a lot of tackles, more than the Chiefs – it was 179-103. It wasn't a comprehensive win by the Chiefs but it was a well-controlled game," he said.

Mallett did question the continuing use of New Zealand referees in games involving New Zealand teams in South Africa adding that he wasn't saying that as a biased South African supporter. He agreed with the penalty try awarded to the Chiefs by referee Mike Fraser but felt there were other aspects to his game that had disappointed, especially in scrummaging.

Mallett felt the Lions missed an opportunity to beat the Highlanders, something that was hard to do when the Highlanders were at home.

"But we saw what the Sharks did to them last week [in Durban] and they had to travel all the way back [to New Zealand]. Given that the Lions were there already and over any jet lag problems, I think that it was a possibility [that they could win].

"But as we keep on saying, no [Warren] Whitely, no [Jaco] Kriel and no [Malcolm] Marx left big gaps in their leadership group and that might have been part of the problem," he said.

Meanwhile, South Africa Rugby have reversed their policy regarding overseas-based players playing in Tests.

Previously, only players with more than 30 Tests were considered for South Africa when based overseas.

They had said that rule would be scrapped after the 2019 Rugby World Cup. However, it has been dropped this year and new coach Rassie Erasmus will be free to choose who he wants.

South Africa Rugby president Mark Alexander told SA media, "Rassie is in his last year of preparation before the World Cup, so he can select any overseas-based player. He has just 18 Tests in which to prepare for the World Cup so we gave him grace.

"From now until the World Cup, he wants to give as many players as possible the chance to show what they can do for the Boks," he said.