Player Ratings: Bok's fairytale continues
OPINION: Debutant scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies scored two tries as South Africa beat Australia 35-17, in Johannesburg, the opening match of the Rugby Championship.
South Africa outscored Australia by five tries to two, for a bonus-point win.
Leezil Hendricks rates the South African players
15 Warrick Gelant
Showed flashes of attacking skill, but often decided to kick the ball – which halted most of the team’s momentum. However, the fullback had a much better second half and impact on attack.
14 Sibusiso Nkosi
A decent performance from the wing. Made a crucial tackle on Bernard Foley on the Boks’ tryline and finished off a great team try in the second half.
13 Jesse Kriel
The Bulls centre was not in the game in the first half. He conceded a penalty, as he misjudged his line speed. Nonetheless, in the second half, he made decent runs and also had a hand in Nkosi’s try.
12 André Esterhuizen
Tested the Wallabies defence early on and was instrumental in the Springboks’ opening try. There were one or two occasions where his kicks went directly into touch and really placed his team under pressure, while his high tackle on Tom Banks – which resulted in a yellow card – did not do him any favours.
11 Makazole Mapimpi
A very quiet game for the wing. Didn’t get opportunities on the attack and his defence wasn’t any better, as he struggled with his man-on-man tackling.
10 Elton Jantjies
His experience was vital. His tactical kicks were spot on and had an awesome goal-kinking performance.
9 Herschel Jantjies
The No.9 made a dream debut. He delivered clean and crisp passes, his box kicks were a vital exit strategy. On attack, the scrumhalf was impressive, as he scored a brace of tries, while his support play made sure that Lodewyk de Jager scored a try. In defence, he was just as vital, making eight tackles.
8 Francois Louw
An amazing performance by the No.8. He carried very strongly and his vital steal at the breakdowns, one setting up the Springboks first try of the match, placed loads of pressure on the Wallaby loose trio.
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
When he puts on a Springbok jersey, he simply can’t put a foot wrong. On attack, he was difficult to bring down and his defence left most of the Wallabies players in pain. The flank made 23 metres and 15 tackles (he missed only one)
6 Rynhardt Elstadt
A fairly quiet start, but made a few decent runs and solid carries after the break. On defence, he missed a few tackles, but overall an okay game by the debutant who had the du Toit and Louw by his side.
5 Lodewyk de Jager
The line-outs were a problem area for the Boks. However, De Jager made sure he is of value at the scrums and also scored a try. For someone who only had a Currie Cup match as preparation, he certainly did very well.
4 Eben Etzebeth (captain)
The captain set the tone for the team’s performance. Led by example with big hits, solid carries (seven) and never missed a chance to partake in the action with his usual impeccable high workrate.
3 Trevor Nyakane
Was missing for large periods in the match. However, he did some tidy scrum work, a solid performance.
2 Bongi Mbonambi
The hooker was caught offside on a couple of occasions, but made up for it with his scrum. Should certainly work on the line-out throw-ins.
1 Tendai Mtawarira
He was powerful in scrums before he left the field just short of 50 minutes. He also made a couple of strong carries
16 Schalk Brits (on for Mbonambi, 53rd minute)
He brought some great energy upfront. Made three strong carries a and beat a couple of defenders.
17 Lizo Gqoboka (on for Mtawarira, 47th minute)
As soon as he set foot on the field the Boks had a scrum. The Bulls prop did well and along with his fellow front-rowers won a penalty for the Boks. He made a few carries and did well.
18 Vincent Koch (on for Nyakane, 53rd minute)
He put in a few good tackles and gave his pack a bit of extra power upfront.
19 Marvin Orie (on for De Jager, 67th minute)
Was not very influential when he took the field but managed to make a couple of metres.
20 Marcel Coetzee (on for Elstadt, 67th minute)
Made solid carries and in defence put in a couple of huge hits.
21 Cobus Reinach (on for H. Janjties, 67th minute)
Despite only being on the field for less than 15 minutes, the replacement picked up where his predecessor H Jantjes left. He made solid runs and scored the bonus-point try for the Boks.
22 Frans Steyn (on for Esterhuizen, 52nd minute)
Made big hit on Kurtley Beale, and injected some energy in the midfield. He also looked for worked and made six carries.
23 Dillyn Leyds