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Player Ratings: So close

OPINION: The Springboks’ attacking game out wide is still a major concern even though they came close to beating the All Blacks in Townsville on Saturday.


Once again, the Boks relied heavily on their pack and kicks out of hand, but it wasn’t enough as the All Blacks won the game 19-17.

Here are the Player Ratings:

15 Willie le Roux
Bok supporters will probably want to see him do more on the field than just catch and kick. It was another uneventful performance from the Bok fullback.

14 Sibusiso Nkosi
He scored his team’s only try off a mistake from George Bridge. However, his overall performance was very average. He still needs to work on his positioning on defence and he got a yellow card for a deliberate knock-down after a bad read when the All Blacks were on attack.

13 Lukhanyo Am
He came to life a bit in the final quarter with some good carries, but he was missing in action for a large part of the game. He seemed a bit frazzled on defence as well.

12 Damian de Allende
The big centre didn’t have much ball to play with on attack, but he showed his worth on defence. He did miss a couple of tackles, but he made up for it with some big hits in crucial positions.


11 Makazole Mapimpi
He chased the ball well when Faf sent it high in the All Blacks’ half and he even won the ball back on a few occasions. Like many of his teammates out wide, his attacking opportunities were limited, but he defended well.

10 Handré Pollard
It was criminal the way he kicked the ball away when his team were in good attacking positions. An example of this was in the 28th minute when he kicked the ball over the dead-ball line after he got some good quality ball from his forwards. He seems incapable of getting his backline away on attack.

9 Francois de Klerk
No one kicked more than him today. Some of those kicks had the All Blacks scrambling under pressure and some were just poor decisions. The Boks had a good attacking opportunity in the 48th minute and he decided to kick the ball inside the All Blacks’ 22. He also seemed a bit indecisive at the base of the ruck.

8 Duane Vermeulen
He was a bit quiet the first half apart from a great steal at the breakdown in the ninth minute. He came into the game more in the final quarter, but it’s still not the Duane Vermeulen we are used to out there.


7 Albertus Smith
He was bumped off in the tackle on a few occasions, but showed some speed on cover defence. He was a nuisance at the breakdowns, but he also gave away a few penalties as well.

6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain)
He led from the front, especially on defence. He delivered a great drive at a ruck in the 17th minute to turn over possession when the All Blacks were building momentum. He also put some great cover tackles. There were also a few occasions when the All Blacks found it hard to bring down when he had ball in hand.

5 Lood de Jager
He was outstanding in the line-outs and when it came to securing possession from the kick-offs. He stole the ball on a couple of occasions when the All Blacks had throw ins. He was strong on defence as well.

4 Eben Etzebeth
He gave away a couple of turnovers and missed a tackle on Codie Taylor at the beginning of the game which led to the opening try. He had one great steal in the line-out and he put in some big hits on defence.

3 Frans Malherbe
He played a whopping 63 minutes, and he was one of the best players on the field. He put Joe Moody under lots of pressure at scrum and he won his team a penalty and a free kick. He was a colossus on defence as well.

2 Mbongeni Mbonambi
His line-out throwing was good apart from one hiccup. He had two very good carries with the ball and the Boks should have made more use of him in open play.

1 Trevor Nyakane
The one big positive was that he was solid in the scrums. He hardly got a chance with ball in hand, but he did a better job on defence than most of his teammates.


16 Malcolm Marx (On for M Mbonambi, 41st minute)
He had a few strong carries in the second half and he found his jumpers in the line-out. It was a mixed bag for him on defence.

17 Steven Kitshoff (On for T Nyakane, 41st minute)
He was solid as a rock in the scrums and he was one of his team’s best defenders in open play.

18 Vincent Koch (On for F Malherbe, 64th minute)
He seemed to get the better of his opponent at scrum time in the final 15 minutes. He won a great scrum penalty in the 72nd minute when his team was camped in their own half.

19 Francois Mostert (On for E Etzebeth, 55th minute)
He orchestrated a great line-out steal in the 76th minute which should have helped the Boks close out the game. He was solid on defence.

20 Marco van Staden (On for A Smith, 64th minute)
He was the Boks’ best player on the field in that final quarter. He had same some strong carries, one of which saw him beat a few defenders.

21 Herschel Jantjies (On for F de Klerk, 76th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Elton Jantjies
Not used

23 Frans Steyn (On for D de Allende, 69th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.


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