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Player ratings: Butter fingers

The Springboks saw victory over the Wallabies slip from their grasp in dramatic fashion in Brisbane on Saturday.


After their experienced starting combination had built up a handy lead, the team that finished the match were left heartbroken as the home side scored 17 unanswered points to snatch a win.

While some players showed their worth under pressure, there were others that were exposed which will give coach Heyneke Meyer some food for thought with the World Cup approaching.

The inability of the players coming off the bench to close the game out will be of some concern, with certain substitutions on either side having a major influence on the momentum of the game.

The Springboks were forced to tackle for the last 20 minutes which put some untested combinations under pressure, and although they were inches away from victory in the end they were not able to hold out.

We rate the South African players: 

15 Willie le Roux

Played a role in both tries and showed his creative value, but his kicking game was not up to scratch and some of the 50/50 balls he threw gave possession away.



14 JP Pietersen

Chased high balls all day and competed fairly well, limited opportunities otherwise but worked hard off the ball.


13 Jesse Kriel

An impressive debut which saw him use his considerable pace in space, and show his finishing skills to take his try.


12 Damian de Allende

Stayed on his feet well and carried the ball in both hands as has become his trademark. Solid on defence but his option-taking was not flawless.


11 Bryan Habana

Made some valuable contributions despite not seeing much of the ball, beating Folau in the air for the first try and setting up Kriel for the second as well as making a vital tackle on Kuridrani.



10 Handré Pollard

A disappointing game which saw him make too many basic errors. Made a crucial turnover and attacked the line well, but his kicking out of hand was not good enough and he missed too many tackles.


9 Ruan Pienaar

His service could have been quicker, but it was a composed performance which saw him take over the captaincy. His tactical kicking was solid with most contested, but also seemed indecisive at times.


8 Schalk Burger

Showed that he can play at the back of the scrum, showed good control, made some big tackles and also rolled back the years by making a turnover. 


7 Marcell Coetzee

His World Cup looks to be in doubt due to his kne injury which is a huge blow as he has proven himself to be comfortable on both flanks. Got through plenty of work and got his team on the front foot but still some question marks over his passing.


6 Francois Louw

Delivered another classy performance at the breakdown in an immense defensive display. Went off and got stitched up but that did not slow him down.


5 Victor Matfield

Limped off with a hamstring complaint, which will have the sceptics doubting his ability to front up at the World Cup.


4 Eben Etzebeth

A big game from the big man who had to take on some serious responsibility with Matfield off the park. He was solid in the line-outs, made some big hits and used his power to great effect in scoring his try.


3 Jannie du Plessis

Answered his doubters by delivering a solid scrummaging performance, and even made some tackles as well.


2 Bismarck du Plessis

Made plenty of turnovers and imposed himself physically, but also made some questionable decisions, not least his charged box-kick in the 22.


1 Tendai Mtawarira

Very strong in the scrums and made his presence felt around the park, but also got blown up for collapsing a maul.



16 Adriaan Strauss (On for B. Du Plessis, 49 mins)

Took the ball up well, but missed a few line-outs and got blown up at scrum-time.


17 Heinke van der Merwe (On for Mtawarira, 49 mins)

Put under pressure in the scrums and seemed a little off the pace in the tight loose.


18 Frans Malherbe (On for J. Du Plessis, 46 mins)

A promising start with a few big scrums, made some important tackles but battled to make the same impact he has had in Super Rugby.


19 Lodewyk de Jager (On for Matfield, 18 mins)

Got through a mountain of work, taking the ball up often and tackling tirelessly. One of the bench players to impress as he stepped up under pressure in his first game back from injury.


20 Teboho Mohoje (On for Coetzee, 70 mins)

Was not able to impose himself, fell off a few tackles and played more like a lock than a flank.


21 Cobus Reinach (On for Pienaar, 68 mins)

Gave away a penalty immediately after coming on and did not add much.


22 Pat Lambie (On for Pollard, 68 mins)

Did not do much other than tackle with his team on the back foot.


23 Lwazi Mvovo (On for Kriel, 68 mins)

Limited opportunities, not able to get his hands on the ball but ran hard.


By Michael de Vries

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