Player ratings: Bok muscle
OPINION: The Springboks’ forward pack proved to be the difference again in their 30-15 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.
The Boks dominated the scrums and the breakdowns and Eben Etzebeth was a colossus in open play.
Check out the player ratings below:
15 Willie le Roux
He joined the attacking line well for Makazole Mapimpi’s two tries. However, his positioning at the back was poor sometimes when Scotland sent the ball high and long.
14 Jesse Kriel
Showed good speed to chase down Duhan van der Merwe in the first half. He applied plenty of pressure when chasing high balls, but he still looks out of place on the wing.
13 Lukhanyo Am
He was very quiet in the first half but came to life a bit in the second half. You just feel he is capable of doing more on the field. He was solid on defence though.
12 Damian de Allende
He was a powerhouse in the midfield. He got his team over the gain line on numerous occasions and he made himself useful at the breakdowns as well. His line speed on defence was excellent. De Allende also broke the line well to feed the ball to Mapimpi for his team’s second try.
11 Makazole Mapimpi
One of his best performances in a Bok jersey. He showed off his deadly finishing skills with two tries and Scotland just looked troubled whenever he ran at them. He beat several defenders with ball in hand and he chased the ball well went it was sent high.
10 Elton Jantjies
There was nothing spectacular, but it was a solid performance from Elton. Herschel Jantjies’ slow distribution in the first half didn’t help him much, but he made good decisions.
9 Herschel Jantjies
He had a shocker in the first half and he was replaced at half-time. His distribution from the base of the ruck was slow and his kicking game was awful. He also failed to gather the ball from a loose Scotland pass near his tryline which resulted in a try for Stuart Hogg.
8 Duane Vermeulen
He manhandled a few Scottish players out there and he did plenty of good work at the breakdowns as well. It was not his best showing but he certainly made his presence felt on the park.
7 Albertus Smith
He was certainly energetic around the park, but not as influential as he was against Wales a week earlier. It was a solid performance by the former BlitzBok.
6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain)
Another game where he played out of his skin for his country. He tackled like a man possessed and was a nuisance at the breakdowns. He also carried the ball strongly as well and he drew a defender with his big frame in the build-up to Mapimpi’s first try.
5 Franco Mostert
An important figure in the line-outs and the mauls. He made a crucial line-out steal just a few metres from his own tryline in the 61st minute. He was also aggressive on defence.
4 Eben Etzebeth
He was the best player on the field. He carried the ball more than any other player on the field and the Scottish struggled to deal with his sheer power and physicality in all aspects of the game.
3 Trevor Nyakane
Like his front-row partner, Retshegofaditswe Nché, he dominated his side of the scrum. He was also solid on defence and he had a couple of good carries as well.
2 Mbongeni Mbonambi
Part of a powerful front row and his line-out throwing was good. But he was very quiet in open play. He is a better player than what he showed at Murrayfield.
1 Retshegofaditswe Nché
He absolutely destroyed his opponent at scrum time in the first half. He also showed some good speed on defence and the Scots needed more than one man when he carried the ball.
16 Malcolm Marx (On for Mbongeni Mbonambi, 40th minute)
Another player who gave Scotland problems at the breakdown. His turnover in the 70th minute was a thing of beauty.
17 Steven Kitshoff (on for Retshegofaditswe Nché, 40th minute)
A powerhouse in the scrums and in open play. His experience in the second half helped the Boks dominate Scotland up front.
18 Vincent Koch (On for Trevor Nyakane, 40th minute)
He gave away a lot of penalties, but he made up for it with some strong carries and some powerful scrumming as well.
19 Lodewyk de Jager (On for Franco Mostert, 62nd minute)
He didn’t put a foot wrong when he came onto the field. He did his part in dominant set-pieces and gave the Scots a few headaches when he ran at them.
20 Jasper Wiese (On for Duane Vermeulen, 75th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
21 Cobus Reinach (On for Herschel Jantjies, 41st minute)
It boggles the mind why he is not starting these games. His distribution was way better than Herschel Jantjies’ and he made some excellent decisions under pressure.
22 Handré Pollard (On for Elton Jantjies, 60th minute)
It was a bit shaky from the pivot. Elton Jantjies did most of the hard work and Pollard just had to do the basics when he was on the field.
23 Frans Steyn (On for Willie le Roux, 65th minute)
The Boks looked more secure at the back when he was at fullback. He also kicked well out of hand.