Player Ratings: World Cup lesson
OPINION: The Springboks’ World Cup opener was certainly not the result Rassie Erasmus wanted.
South Africa started their World Cup campaign with a 13-23 defeat to the All Black on Saturday.
Leezil Hendricks rates the South African players
15 Willie le Roux
Certainly a performance below his usual standards. The fullback was horrendous under the high ball and failed to produce anything noteworthy on attack – leaving much of the back three’s responsibility in the hands of Cheslin Kolbe.
14 Cheslin Kolbe
The standout performer in the Springboks team. His ability to read the game continues to be a vital component and was forced to carry a very ineffective backline. The livewire wing also had a hand in the Boks’ first try. Kolbe had a few try-scoring opportunities as well but unfortunately found himself alone without any support.
13 Lukhanyo Am
Showed some skills with ball in hand but was not very influential on attack. He made a few tackles before he was replaced with Jesse Kriel on the hour mark.
12 Damian de Allende
Made a couple of strong runs and also managed to produce a few crucial tackles. Was a little bit too selfish on one or two occasions but overall a good performance by the centre.
11 Makazole Mapimpi
One of the team’s weakest members. His defence is still the most vulnerable aspect of his play. The wing also escaped a sanction for his tackle on Richie Mo’unga.
10 Handré Pollard
Not the best kicking display by the pivot. He struggled in the first half – missing an easy penalty kick which shifted the momentum of the match. However, he tried to make up for it in the second half with a drop goal. But overall the No.10 was very below par. A good thing is, he has the prowess to control the game, the Boks just have to make use of it more often.
9 Faf de Klerk
His box kicks were over utilised and most of the time did not reach the intended target. In the second half, he made two snipping runs from the breakdown however the dreadfull loose pass which Richie Mo’unga snapped up just sums up his performance.
8 Duane Vermeulen
The No.8 was an absolute beast in the second half, made powerful carries and was good in defence. His stats also include a couple of steals at the breakdown and he produced two perfectly timed tackles on Aaron Smith at the rucks which disrupted much of All Blacks’ plan.
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
A very uncharacteristic performance by the flank. He conceded two unforced penalties in the opening minutes of the game. Du Toit was more involved in the second half and scored the team’s try.
6 Siya Kolisi (captain)
The captain’s lack of game time was certainly evident during the performance. Could not keep up with the pace of the match and was replaced after 50 minutes. He made a made some carries, but not very effective.
5 Franco Mostert
One of the unsung heroes. He did most of the donkey work and showed how valuable he is the Springboks team. The second row made 12 tackles, nine carries and produced a crucial line-out steal.
4 Eben Etzebeth
Strong with his tackles, only missed one. Did not concede any penalties and very disciplined despite the intensity of the match.
3 Frans Malherbe
The prop put Joe Moody under huge pressure during scrums. However, the other areas of his game remain a little average and was replaced after just 54 minutes of play.
2 Malcolm Marx
The hooker was effective but certainly not spectacular. His line-out throws reached the intended target which is good news.
1 Steven Kitshoff
Just like his fellow front-row partner, Kitshoff got the better of the New Zealand pack. He won an early penalty and was constantly looking for work. Also solid in defence.
16 Bongi Mbonambi (on for Marx, 60 Minutes)
Didn’t bring the energy that was expected from the hooker.
17 Tendai Mtawarira (on for Kitshoff, 67 minutes)
Not enough time to be rated.
18 Trevor Nyakane (on for Malherbe, 54 minutes)
Came on and made a noteworthy impact. Unfortunately, his World Rugby campaign might be over after he went off the field with an injury.
19 Rudolph Snyman (on for Etzebeth, 69 minutes)
Not enough to be rated
20 Francois Louw (on for Kolisi, 50 minutes)
He tackled well and was eager to disrupt the breakdown.
21 Herschel Jantjies (on for De Klerk, 71 minutes)
Not enough to be rated
22 Frans Steyn
23 Jesse Kriel (On for Am, 54 minutes)
Made a couple of decisive breaks and certainly added the much-needed physicality in the midfield.