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Player Ratings: A colossal effort

OPINION: The Springboks bounced back with a colossal effort to beat the All Blacks 31-29 in an epic Rugby Championship encounter on Saturday.


The impact off the bench proved to be the difference for the Boks in a nail-biting second half.

Here are the Player Ratings!

15 Willie le Roux
He had a shocker in the first half and he was eventually replaced at half-time by Francois Steyn. He failed to secure possession under the high ball on a few occasions and one of his dopped balls led to a try for Sevu Reece. He also got knocked to the ground trying to tackle Rieko Ioane, which resulted in a try for Ardie Savea.

14 Sibusiso Nkosi
He had a try assist in the first half and he also put in a brilliant try-saving tackle on Anton Lienert-Brown in the 32nd minute. He applied good pressure chasing the high balls and he got some more ball to work with on attack this week.

13 Lukhanyo Am
His no-look pass around his back for Damian De Allende’s try was a thing of beauty. He also applied pressure on the All Blacks into making a mistake in the build-up to that try. He had a couple of good runs and he directed his team’s defence well out wide.

12 Damian de Allende
He was fantastic for the Boks in open play. He had a couple of clean breaks and racked up the running metres with those powerful carries. He was also a brick wall on defence and he pushed the All Blacks back at some of the breakdowns as well.

11 Makazole Mapimpi
He scored one of his team’s two tries and he got a bit more ball to run with this time around. He chased the high balls well which put the All Blacks under pressure.

10 Handré Pollard
It was another nervy start for the pivot, especially with his goal-kicking. However, he did try to mix things up this week and the ball went wide much more. He threatened the All Blacks’ defence on a few occasions when he took the ball to the line. It wasn’t the best, but it was an improved performance from the Bok flyhalf.


9 Francois de Klerk
It was a tale of two halves from the Bok scrumhalf. He produced some good pin-point high balls and there were some that were not so great. In the second half, he showed what he is capable of on attack with some quick distribution. He varied his play nicely and his vision from the base of the ruck played a big role in Makazole Mapimpi’s try in the 52nd minute.

8 Duane Vermeulen
He missed a tackle on Beauden Barrett, which eventually led to a try for Savea. But there were a lot more positives for the big man in this game. He was secure under the high ball and finally showed that raw power with ball in hand. He got his team over the gain line on a few occasions and he made more tackles than any other player in his team. He was also a nuisance at the breakdowns.

7 Albertus Smith
It was certainly an energetic performance from the former BlitzBok. He troubled the All Blacks’ defenders around the rucks with his movement and quick runs. He also got stuck into the breakdowns to disrupt the All Blacks’ ball.

6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain)
He was a colossus at the breakdowns and he helped his team win some turnovers. He also tackled like a man possessed and he wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line with ball in hand. He left the field in the 56th minute.


5 Lodewyk de Jager
It was another industrious performance by the big man. Again, he was great on defence and he showed some great aggression with ball in hand, which resulted in some metres over the gain line.

4 Eben Etzebeth
He was a key figure in the line-outs. He lost control of the ball in the 33rd minute, which led to Brad Weber’s try in the 33rd minute, but he made up for that later in the game. He produced a great line-out steal in the 69th minute when his team was under pressure. He was also a key figure in some powerful driving mauls.

3 Trevor Nyakane
Like Ox Nche, he was immovable in the scrums and he looked for work in open play on attack and defence. He seemed to draw a few All Blacks when he had the ball.

2 Mbongeni Mbonambi
He showed his strength when he powered through the All Blacks’ defence in the 19th minute, which almost resulted in a try. His line-out throwing was good until his last throw inside the All Blacks’ 22 which went to no one. He was eventually replaced in the 39th minute.

1 Retshegofaditswe Nché
He was solid in the scrums and he had some good carries. he also made his presence felt on defence. He was also replaced in the 39th minute.


16 Malcolm Marx (On for B Mbonambi, 39th minute)
He was part of a powerful ‘Bomb Squad’ that changed the game. His line-out throwing was accurate, but it was his work in open play that made a difference. He had several strong carries, with one of those coming in the build-up to Mapimpi’s try. He also halted the All Blacks’ momentum with a great turnover in the 54th minute.

17 Steven Kitshoff (on for R Nche, 39th minute)
The experienced prop was powerful in the scrums and his steal at the front of the line-out when All Blacks were deep inside the Boks’ 22 was a key moment in the game.

18 Vincent Koch (On for T Nyakane, 39th minute)
Another one who was solid in the scrums and on defence. There was not a lot of opportunities with ball in hand, but his physical presence definitely made a difference in the second half.

19 Franco Mostert (On for L de Jager, 51st minute)
He gave away two big penalties in the second half, which could have cost his team big time. He did a lot of good work in the line-outs and on defence.

20 Jasper Wiese (On for S Kolisi, 56th minute)
There was not much impact from the replacement forward, especially with ball in hand. Most of his work was in defence.

21 Herschel Jantjies (On for F de Klerk, 66th minute)
The All Blacks were a bit rattled when he ran at them. His passing was crisp, and he made some good decisions as well.

22 Elton Jantjies (On for S Nkosi, 48th minute)
He was involved in Mapimpi’s try and he slotted a brilliant drop goal in the 77th minute. He was a calming influence in the backline and he was a key figure in the win.

23 Frans Steyn (On for W Le Roux, 40th minute)
The momentum swung in South Africa’s favour when he came onto the field. He put his team in great positions on the field with some fantastic kicks. His 50/22 kick in 51st minute laid the platform for Mapimpi’s try from a line-out.


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