PLAYER RATINGS: Power in Padua
OPINION: South Africa produced their best performance of the year-end tour to score an emphatic 35-6 win over Italy in Padua on Saturday.
It is the first time the Springboks won two consecutive away games since Allister Coetzee took over the coaching duties.
South Africa followed their hard fought one point victory over France last weekend with a more convincing performance against Italy.
Joshua Isaacson rates the Springboks
15 Andries Coetzee
Failed to deal with his first up and under of the game in the second minute but seemed to gain in confidence as the game went on with some good touch finders, kicked out on the full in the 36th minute, made some good tackles on defence, took the ball into contact and positioned himself well throughout the game.
14 Dillyn Leyds
Did not see much of the ball but contributed well off the ball with some god reads on defence.
13 Jesse Kriel
Took the ball into contact well with his first touch of the game and linked up well on a number of occasions in midfield with Francois Venter. Made a good break up field in the 34th minute.
12 Francois Venter
Good interception and defensive work in the third minute set the tone for what was to come from Venter throughout the game. Ran straight at the line and always talking and communicating in the backline, a real defensive general. Deserved try in the 33rd minute.
11 Courtnall Skosan
Just like the man on his opposite wing, Skosan did not see much of the ball throughout the game, however he competed well in the air which contributed to the Francois Venter try in the 33rd minute.
10 Handré Pollard
Another player who made his second successive start for the Springboks on their tour of Europe after replacing Elton Jantjies following the Springboks 38-3 horror show defeat against Ireland two weeks ago. Kicked deep in the opening few minutes. Flawless kicking display with four out of four successful kicks at poles which included an overall contribution of eight points from four successful conversions was awarded the man of the match.
9 Ross Cronje
Conceded a penalty in the 18th minute, made some accurate box kicks, always a reliable player especially with the calming influence of Pollard on his inside.
8 Duane Vermeulen
Made his second start on tour for the Springboks after being called up to the team as a replacement for Jean Luc du Preez for the clash against France which South Africa won 18-17 last week. Made some good calls under the high ball and made plenty of metres with ball in hand.
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
Broke a tackle and made a good defensive effort to parry the grubber kick into touch in the opening few minutes of the game. Was ever present in the line-out and made some good reads on both attack and defence.
6 Francois Louw
Inspired work at the breakdown and scored the opening try for South Africa with a powerful carry in the 14th minute.
5 Lodewyk de Jager
Knocked the ball forward just outside the South Africa 22 in the sixth minute which gifted Italy an attacking scrum. Conceded a penalty for not rolling away in the tackle in 57th minute, however as always De Jager contributed with some much needed brawn in all areas of the game.
4 Eben Etzebeth (captain)
Conceded a penalty for sacking the support player in the line-out inside the Springbok half in the tenth minute which gifted Italy an opportunity for a kick at poles which Carlos Canna converted, always there to lead the physical battle with plenty of carries. Tackle on Parisse lead to a turnover in the 47th minute.
3 Wilco Louw
Plenty of good work off the ball providing headaches for the Italy defence at scrum time at the breakdown and in general play.
2 Mbongeni Mbonambi
Made his Springbok starting debut. Found his jumper with an accurate line-out throw in the second minute. Contributed to a dominant scrum in the 21st minute which lead to a penalty advantage. Scored a try in the 23rd minute after collecting the ball at the back of a powerful rolling maul, well timed throw over the top to find Francois Venter charging through the line at the end of the first half. A debut to remember.
1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Good pick and go contributed to first try for South Africa in 14th minute. Good scrummaging, went off injured in the 27th minute and was replaced by Steven Kitshoff.
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle (on for Mbonambi 60 minute)
Accurate first throw at the line-out, did not do anything special however he did the basics very well.
17 Steven Kitshoff (on for Tendai Mtawarira, 27th minute)
Powerful drive which led to a try in the 44th minute, was great to see Kitshoff play an inside ball towards the end of the game and not just take the usual route of taking the ball into contact.
18 Trevor Nyakane (On for Wilco Louw, 65th minute)
Did not see much of the ball however he formed a powerful front row combination with Steven Kitshoff and Chiliboy Ralepelle.
19 Franco Mostert (on for Eben Etzebeth, 60th minute)
Athletic play with plenty of pace on the ball saw Mostert crash over for a try towards the end of the game, added mobility to the Springboks game.
20 Daniel du Preez (On for Pieter Steph du Toit, 73rd minute)
Not enough time to be rated
21 Rudy Paige (on for Ross Cronje, 54th minute)
Made some good reads on defence and had a good understanding of where to find his flyhalf Handré Pollard.
22 Elton Jantjies (on for Handré Pollard, 65th minute)
Confidence boost with a touch finder with his first contribution of the game and added two points by converting Franco Mostert’s try in the 76th minute. No errors to complain of and he did what was asked of him.
23 Warrick Gelant. (on for Courtnall Skosan, 60th minute)
Made his Springbok debut coming on for Courtnall Skosan in the 60th minute, looked dangerous with the opportunity he got with ball in hand and chased a grubber kick well was beaten by the bounce of the ball in 72nd minute after he looked in for a try.
By Joshua Isaacson