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Player Ratings: Another horror show

OPINION: It was another hard lesson in cohesiveness handed to the South Africa ‘A’ side at the Ashton Gate on Thursday.


For Bristol Bears, it was a historic victory and a momentous occasion, however for SA ‘A’ it was another difficult outing.

The SA ‘A’ fell to a 16-28 defeat to Bristol Bears – concluding their November two-match tour with zero victories.

Here’s how the South Africa ‘A’ players rated.

15 Gianni Lombard
Tasked with taking the starting spot of injured Springbok Aphelele Fassi, the utility back failed to make an impact and his inexperience was very evident. He was eventually replaced by Johan Goosen in the 45th minute.

14 Suleiman Hartzenberg
The wing looked for work despite his attacking chances being limited. His defence in the first half was good. In the second 40 minutes, he lost his way and made a couple of silly errors inside his own 22.

13 Henco van Wyk
A very quiet outing for the centre, however, he made a few impressive runs. His rush defence was also good and in the opening quarter of the match kept Bristol’s attack intact. However, the midfielder ran out of steam in the second half and similar to his fellow backline players looked lost.


12 Cornal Hendricks
Played a vital role as the first receiver on a couple of occasions and made a few metres. Certainly not the performance he wanted after his decent showing last Thursday against Munster.

11 Leolin Zas
His attacking opportunities were limited and his failure to collect the ball on a couple of occasions also added to his uneventful outing. He made one attempt under the high ball, however, was far from a threat.

10 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu
A mixed bag for the 20-year-old. He put in some big hits and made a try-saving tackle on Gabriel Ibitoye in the 21st minute. However, his second stanza was filled with errors. Not only did he miss an easy conversion but also missed a couple of tackles. He left the field in the 69th minute with an injury.

9 Grant Williams
Regarded as one of the standout performers against Munster, this fixture was one to forget. Unlike last week, the No.9’s passing from the ruck was slow and stamp his authority on the match. While one of his kicks was also charged down inside the Boks’ half.


8 Jean-Luc du Preez
Overall a solid game. Very strong ball carrier and was good in defence, while his work at the breakdown handed his team a penalty and three points – certainly a very industrious performance.

7 Elrigh Louw
Got involved with the line-out as a third option and was also very busy at the breakdown.  But made way for Dan Du Preez after 52 minutes.

6 Marco van Staden
The flank is probably kicking himself, he had a perfect opportunity to score a try however knock-on just short of the try-line halted all the efforts. Nonetheless, his work at the breakdown in the second half was effective.

5 Ruan Nortje
A workhorse through and through, the Bulls put in another noteworthy performance. He piled on the pressure at the line-outs – not only winning his own line-outs but also making a steal.

4 Jason Jenkins
He strived last weekend in Ireland, but this week the lock really struggled in the opening quarter of the match. He conceded an early penalty and also received a yellow card for a dangerous tackle. However, he made up for it with his impressive work rate.

3 Thomas du Toit (captain)
His decision to take a tap-and-go on the brink of halftime was questionable other than that he did most of the hard crafting. Solid at the scrums.

2 Andre-Hugo Venter
His first line-out throw was good and relieved some of those opening jitters. However, the hooker lost some of his accuracy, resulting in an overthrow. His overall game was good putting in good tackles.

1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
His scrums improved since last week against Munster. However had a very quiet first half and came to life in the second stanza – making a strong run and scoring the team’s first try.


16 JJ Kotze (on for Venter, 49th minute)
His first line out was not straight and he was also part of the struggling scrum.

17 Simphiwe Matanzima (on for Mchunu, 58th minute)
Failed to make an impact and missing for the vast majority of his time on the field.

18 Mornay Smith (on for Du Toit, 58th minute)
The prop struggled at scrums conceding two scrum penalties during his cameo.

19 Dan du Preez (on for Jenkins, 52nd minute)
Added some cohesion and structure to the pack. Had a few good carries and certainly put up his hand for a Bok jersey.

20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe (on for Louw, 52nd minutes)
Made a big impact from the bench and scored a try – his second five-pointer in the SA ‘A’ jersey.
21 Phepsi Buthelezi (on for Van Staden, 52nd Minute)

Came in and had to make a couple of big hits inside his own 22.

22 Sanele Nohamba (On for Williams, 65th minute)
Not enough time to be rated

23 Johan Goosen (on for Lombaard, 45th minute)
He added much-needed experience in the backline. Made a couple of good runs and also managed to put in a big hit. However, was punished for obstruction.


*Photo credit: Bristol Bears

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