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Player ratings: BlunderBoks

The Azzurri ran hard, tackled harder and pulled off a very inspirational first-ever victory against the two-time World Champions.


This is the second time that the Boks went into the break with a slender 12-10 lead and ended up losing to a minnow rugby Nation – the first being against Japan in the 2015 World Cup.

Lyndon Julius rates the South African players!

15 Willie le Roux:

Joined the backline much more frequently than last week and ran off the ball very well. The Wasps full-back saw a lot of the ball and when he found or was given half of a gap made the most of it.


14 Ruan Combrinck:

Was very quiet in the opening few minutes of the first half, but showed a tremendous amount of patience on defence. Combrinck ensured that when the ball reached the wings, valuable metres were gained.


13 Damian de Allende:

His third touch was when he beat the defender on the touchline and he crossed for the Boks' second try. A much better and improved performance from the midfielder both on attack and defence.


12 Francois Venter:

The inside centre's defensive ability in the midfield was resilient and forced Italy to make errors which was pounced on by the visiting side. Venter is still fairly quiet with ball in hand and needs to take up the crash ball much more.



11 Bryan Habana:

The veteran speedster crashed over the whitewash for a world record 67th time, but it was his leadership and strong sense of calmness that ensure the relatively young backline ran hard at the home side with a lot more confidence.


10 Pat Lambie:

The Bok pivot attacked the advantage line with confidence, which allowed his midfielders to receive quality ball at times. His ability to read the opposition allowed the visiting side to capitalise on Italy's mistakes and made them pay.


9 Rudy Paige:

His clearance and service off the base was very slow at times. Paige's decision making abilities was questionable. The number nine opted many a times to keep the ball amongst his forwards when a pass to his fly-half seemed to have been the better option.


8 Warren Whiteley:

In similar fashion to last week's Test, the Lions back rower did not see much of the ball and was called on to put in a number of tackles. Given the amount of possession that the Boks had, Whiteley should have seen more of the ball.



7 Willem Alberts:

Like a headless chicken, Alberts seemed out of place. His ability to break the first line of defence was about all he had to offer and not even this was executed by the so-called “bone crusher”.


6 Nizaam Carr:

Much was expected from Carr as he made his run-on debut, apart from a few tackles that he put in the loose forward was rather quiet.


5 Lodewyk de Jager:

Offered very little in open play, which could be the reason why his overall was so poor. De Jager's ability to dominant the line-out was also not done with confidence as he came up against the experienced Parisse.


4 Pieter-Steph du Toit:

The dismal defensive errors that the Stormers lock made against England was not the case against the Six Nations minnows. Du Toit was however rather quiet in open play and seemed to have focused on his basics.


3 Vincent Koch:

Koch got his basics right and added value to the Bok forwards both in broken play and at the set pieces. His defensive ability was rather shaky in the opening half.


2 Adriaan Strauss:

Strauss got all his basics right. line-outs, scrums and supporting his fellow forwards very well. The Bok captain gained a few metres with ball in hand, but it was his ability or lack thereof to inspire his charges deep in the second half that failed him.


1 Tendai Mtawarira:

The Bok hardman was pivotal at the scrum set piece and made the home side work hard for the ball. His support at the breakdown was instrumental and the few metres he gained when carrying the ball up was valuable in the end.



16 Bongi Mbonambi:

Not enough time to be rated.

17 Steven Kitshoff (On for Mtawarira, 53rd min):

Apart from the few loose balls at the line-outs and his ability to continue the Boks domination at the set pieces, Kitshoff was rather quiet. The few times that he was called on to make tackles, he did so clinically.


18 Trevor Nyakane (On Koch for, 53rd min):

Much like his fellow front rower who came in off the bench, Nyakane made his presence felt at the scrum and line-outs.


19 Franco Mostert:

Not enough time to be rated.

20 Teboho Mohoje: (On for Alberts, 65th min):

Mohoje made a big impact when he appeared late in the second half. The loose forward gained valuable metres but it was his defensive abilities that cannot go unnoticed.


21 Francois de Klerk (On for Paige, 53rd min):

Cleared the base of the ruck much quicker than Paige, but his ability to lose this momentum has given the home side the necessary time to regroup on defence. De Klerk made a few telling runs and sniping darts which added a great value.


22 Elton Jantjies: (On for Lambie, 53rd min):

The pivot made a schoolboy error when he attempted to stop the big Giovanbattista Venditti around the shoulder area and was handed off rather embarrassingly, this turned out to be the difference in the scoreline in the end.



23 Johan Goosen:

Not enough time to be rated.


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