Player Ratings: Bok power
OPINION: A Springbok-laden South Africa ‘A’ team brought the intensity when they faced the British and Irish Lions on Wednesday.
It was a morale-boosting 17-13 win for the players ahead of that first Test next week.
15 Willie le Roux
He was solid at the back in terms of field position when kicks came his way. Something that he would not want to remember was when Anthony Watson beat him in the air in the 37th minute when his team was under pressure. He was part of a good kicking game in the first half.
14 Cheslin Kolbe
He showed his magic again when he beat a couple of defenders before sending Lukhanyo Am away for a try. He pressurised the Lions’ players under the high ball when he got the call from Faf de Klerk. He missed a few tackles on defence and that is something he will want to work on ahead of the Test series.
13 Lukhanyo Am (captain)
He ran a great support line to get the ball from Kolbe for his try. He had a couple of good runs and showed how reliable he can be under the high ball. Apart from a couple of missed tackles, he was relatively solid in his channel.
12 Damian de Allende
The big midfielder was a hard man to bring down when he ran at the Lions. He showed his versatility by winning a turnover in the third minute. On attack, he gave the pass that sent Sibusiso Nkosi way for his try and kept a great running line to keep the pressure off his teammate out wide.
11 Sbu Nkosi
Scored a try in the 13th minute. He could have had one earlier in the game if it wasn’t for a great cover tackle. He was exposed a few times on defence but that was because the Boks were reduced to 13 men at one stage.
10 Morné Steyn
Tactically he was good in the first half. He kept the Lions guessing with his kicking game and he defended his channel well. However, he wasn’t the best at trying to unlock the Lions’ defence on attack.
9 Faf de Klerk
He got a yellow card in the 39th minute for a tackle with a shoulder and it put his team under pressure. He kept the pressure on the Lions with box kicks and his distribution to his backline and close forward runners kept the visitors on their toes.
8 Jasper Wiese
He lost the ball in contact on a couple of occasions in the first half. He grew in confidence as the game went on. He was more aggressive on attack and defence in the second half.
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
He was replaced early in the second half due to a concussion. He certainly made his presence felt on the field in defence. There was not a lot of opportunities for him to carry the ball as he did against Georgia.
6 Marco van Staden
Like Faf de Klerk, he also received a yellow card, which caused a shift in momentum in the game. He was one of the Boks’ top defenders out there and made his presence felt at the breakdowns. There was one glaring defensive mistake when he allowed Tom Curry though in the midfield.
5 Franco Mostert
He gave away a couple of penalties, but he also won a few for his team. He is just a machine that keeps going. Mostert put the Lions under pressure in the line-outs on a couple of occasions and he tackled like a man possessed all over the field.
4 Eben Etzebeth
His big hit on Liam Williams resulted in the first turnover in the game. His excellent charge down deep in his own half led to Nkosi’s try. He gave away a few turnovers and penalties, but he was a colossus around the park, especially on defence.
3 Trevor Nyakane
He had a tough time in the scrums in the first half. He gave away a free kick and two penalties at scrum time. He didn’t get much opportunity to carry the ball, but he made some good tackles on defence. He was replaced by Vincent Koch at half-time.
2 Joseph Dweba
The hooker was one of the Boks’ best players. He carried the ball powerfully and made some serious metres. He was also aggressive on defence and never missed a tackle. Apart from one hiccup, his line-out throwing was excellent. He was replaced before the half-time whistle by Malcolm Marx.
1 Steven Kitshoff
He solid in the scrums but seemed to lack a bit of energy around the park. He missed a few tackles out there, but he also put in some big hits when he needed to.
16 Malcolm Marx
He won a crucial turnover and produced an excellent try-saving tackle in the second half. He troubled the Lions at the breakdowns.
17 Coenie Oosthuizen
He put in some good tackles and he added some power to the mauls.
18 Vincent Koch
He was immovable in the scrums. Opportunities with the ball were limited in the second half and his contributions were mainly in defence and the set-pieces and he did well with those.
19 Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg
He won a good turnover in the second half and did his fair share of work in the second half.
20 Rynhardt Elstadt
It was a mixed bag from Rynhardt. He added to the physicality in the game.
21 Herschel Jantjies
Came on late in the game. Not enough time to be rated.
22 Jesse Kriel
Due to the shift in momentum brought on by the yellow cards, his role was mainly limited to defending like many of the replacements.
23 Damian Willemse
He could not match the cameo he had against Georgia a couple of weeks ago, but that was mainly due to the flow of the game. He defended well.