Mallett – South is superior

Nick Mallett says the year-end results reflects the vast divide in quality between the superior south and north.

Italy boss Mallett, who coached the Barbarians to victory over the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday, says the northern hemisphere’s prospects of closing the gap looks bleak.

‘I’m even more convinced of it,’ he said. ‘If the northern hemisphere sides can’t knock over South Africa, Australia and New Zealand at the end of their seasons when they are tired and not really looking forward to a tour, and all the northern hemisphere sides are coming off three months of good preparation, getting ready for the Six Nations – they’re at their best – and you’ve got two wins out of I don’t know how many games … that’s not a lot.

‘England probably played the best game they’ve ever played in their life against an Australian side that wasn’t at all expecting it. The next time they play they will expect England to play like that. And Scotland beating South Africa was far more a case of South Africa being off their game.

‘If South Africa had played properly, like they did against England, they would have beaten Scotland easily.’