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Player ratings: South Africa

OPINION: It was not flawless, but South Africa put down a massive World Cup marker with a record 35-7 win over New Zealand at Twickenham on Friday.


The Springboks were at their most brutal best – the forwards laying the platform for an emphatically dominant performance against an All Black team that lost their composure under the intense pressure.

Two yellow cards and the Scott Barrett red card tell the story of the superiority of a Bok team that had 90 percent territory and almost as much possession in the opening quarter.

Even though the stats evened out in the second half and the first points only came after 18 minutes, it was the traditional ‘slow poison’ that killed off the All Black challenge.

Jan de Koning rates the South African players!

15 Damian Willemse
Missed the odd tackle, while his hands also let him down on occasion, but made plenty of carries and his run-metre added up to triple digits and also beat a couple of defenders.

14 Kurt-Lee Arendse
It was not flawless – with one kick that went directly into touch and a couple of turnovers conceded. However, his intercept late in the first half was crucial and there were some good defensive reads. Two clean breaks.


13 Canan Moodie
He had some great reads on defence and any questions about playing at outside centre were answered emphatically, especially his weaving and stepping run – even though he was denied a try. Missed the odd tackle and conceded a turnover.

12 Andre Esterhuizen
Some really powerful carries that got his team over the advantage line – including a bust through a Jordie Barrett tackle. He beat four defenders, one clean break and a sublime offload. Stopped the All Black midfield in their collective tracks.

11 Makazole Mapimpi
Attempted to inject himself into the game and produced some great kick-chasing. Beat two defenders and made all his tackles.

10 Manie Libbok
Finally found his goal-kicking range with more regularity – five from five off the kicking-T. There was one sublime offload and he made most of his tackles.


9 Faf de Klerk
Made some good early reads, also a few great clearance kicks – kept up territorial pressure and produced a bit more variation in his game. However, he missed far too many tackles (five) and conceded three turnovers.

8 Duane Vermeulen
Was a human cannonball and still won turnovers at the tackle, including a crucial one late in the first half. Made all his tackles.

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
There was a crucial cover tackle early in the game and he made a match-high 16 tackles. However, he conceded a couple of unnecessary penalties and a yellow card that went on review when he missed-times a tackle.

6 Siya Kolisi (captain)
He charged fearlessly, with total disregard for his body, into the All Black defenders. There was a great move to peal around the blind and offload to Marx for a crucial early second-half try. Fast regaining his best form.

5 Franco Mostert
He was a real workhorse and back in his best position, at lock. Did his best work in the close exchanges.

4 Eben Etzebeth
Conceded a penalty for some over-eager support play and going off his feet, but there were some really great line-out steals. Made all his tackles.

3 Frans Malherbe
He brutalised Ethan de Groot in the scrums and worked hard at the breakdown – making all but one of his tackles.

2 Malcolm Marx
Took a brutal cheap shot from Scott Barrett, but produced another impressive performance – eight carries, including a clean break, and 11 tackles.

1 Steven Kitshoff
Powerful early carry and took that physicality into the set pieces. Didn’t get much reward for his carries.


16 Bongi Mbonambi (on for Marx, 47th min)
His first line-out throw was horribly skewed, but he put in a good shift – especially on defence.

17 Ox Nche (on for Kitshoff, 47th min)
Kept the scrum pressure on the All Blacks and helped win a couple of vital penalties. Needed the extra minutes and will be the better for it.

18 Trevor Nyakane (on for Malherbe, 47th min)
Also powerful in the scrums, but his conditioning needs some work.

19 Jean Kleyn (on for Etzebeth, 47th min)
Won a great line-out steal, had a couple of big carries and made some big hits.

20 RG Snyman (on for Mostert, 47th min)
Showed all his amazing skills in one very impressive carry, to go with a clean break, a defender beaten and handful of tackles.

21 Marco van Staden (on for Kolisi, 47th min)
Did his best work on defence and at the breakdown. An honest day’s toil.

22 Cobus Reinach (on for Mapimpi, 63rd min)
Playing on the wing meant he was not as involved as he usually is.

23 Kwagga Smith (on for Vermeulen, 47th min)
Showed the mobility he can add off the bench in the second half and good value for his try. Did not slack on defence either.


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