Mallett resigns as South Africa coach

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The Independent Online

Nick Mallett, one of the most successful coaches in Springbok history, resigned with unexpected swiftness last night after suffering the indignity of a disciplinary hearing instigated by his hard-line opponents at the top end of the South African game, writes Chris Hewett. By cashing in his chips so suddenly, the English-born Oxford Blue and former Bokke No 8 confirmed the worst fears of those who believed that the in-fighting and petty point-scoring endemic in the South African committee rooms were proving too much for the most gifted strategist in the country.

Nick Mallett, one of the most successful coaches in Springbok history, resigned with unexpected swiftness last night after suffering the indignity of a disciplinary hearing instigated by his hard-line opponents at the top end of the South African game, writes Chris Hewett. By cashing in his chips so suddenly, the English-born Oxford Blue and former Bokke No 8 confirmed the worst fears of those who believed that the in-fighting and petty point-scoring endemic in the South African committee rooms were proving too much for the most gifted strategist in the country.

Mallett was summoned before a three-man tribunal sitting in Cape Town to answer a rather tenuous charge that he brought the game into disrepute by publicly criticising the national union's pricing policy for Test match tickets. However, the coach's supporters suspect his real crime was to have finished bottom of last summer's Tri-Nations series - something that was always on the cards as he attempted to move the Springbok game away from its traditional forward-dominated style.

Under Mallett, the Boks equalled the world record for consecutive Test victories, winning 17 in a row.

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