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Player ratings: Champions no more

OPINION: South Africa failed to maintain the first-half intensity and got blown away by the British and Irish Lions in the first Test in Cape Town on Saturday.


Trailing 3-12 at half-time, the visitors turned the table on the Springboks and physically dominated them in the second half – outscoring their hosts by 19-5.

Not only did the Springboks seem to tire, but their tactics were ineffective against a very clinical B&I Lions team.

Jan de Koning rates the South African players!

15 Willie le Roux
Did not have too many chances with the ball in hand and had a shocking day on defence – making just one of the five tackles he attempted.

14 Cheslin Kolbe
The ball did not flow his way in the first half and he worked hard in the second half, without much reward. Made his tackles, but lost the aerial battle.

13 Lukhanyo Am
Huge early hit that won a turnover that set a marker and continued to make all his tackles and was one of the team’s most impressive performers.


12 Damian de Allende
Conceded an offside penalty, but made plenty of tackles and won a couple of first-half turnovers. Some strong carries and was his team’s most productive backline player.

11 Makazole Mapimpi
Was not a game for wings on the attack. His defence was beyond reproach and he chased hard.

10 Handre Pollard
Was great under the high ball in the first half and provided good support at fullback. However, his goal-kicking let him down a bit and he also missed a crucial tackle.

9 Francois de Klerk
Some good out of hand kicking, for good territorial gains, and a couple of decent clearance kicks. He was solid on defence – missing just one tackle – and won a turnover.


8 Albertus Smith
Excellent work at a defensive breakdown. Initially good at kick-receives and made plenty of carries. Made most of his tackles, missing just one. Conceded three second-half penalties.

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
His workrate and physicality was a big factor, but then got overzealous and conceded a crucial penalty late in the second half.

6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain)
Played a much tighter game and did not shirk his responsibilities – making seven tackles, without missing one. Conceded a couple of penalties.

5 Franco Mostert
Truly Mr Dependable. You won’t see him, much in the open play, but hit plenty of ruck, made seven tackles and missed just one./

4 Eben Etzebeth
Dominated Itoje in the contact areas in the first half and made a handful of carries. His best work was on defence – 10 tackles made, two missed and one turnover won.

3 Trevor Nyakane
Solid in the scrums and made all his tackles. A couple of carries, without making much ground.

2 Mbongeni Mbonambi
Didn’t make any ground with his three carries and seemed a bit passive. Made all his tackles.

1 Retshegofaditswe Nche
Really good workrate and a number of strong carries. Made his tackles.


16 Malcolm Marx (on for Mbonambi at half-time)
Did not have the impact with the ball in hand that you would expect, but made eight tackles without missing one.

17 Steven Kitshoff (on for Nche at half-time)
Worked hard off the ball and made nine tackles, without missing one. Struggled in the scrums though – normally a strength of his.

19 Frans Malherbe (on for Nyakane at half-time)
Conceded a crucial scrum penalty and made just one tackle. Was quiet outside of the set pieces.

19 Lodewyk de Jager (on for Mostert, 62 mins)
He looked to get involved, but failed to make an impact – both with the ball in hand and on defence.

20 Rynhardt Elstadt (on for Smith, 62 mins)
The only time you noticed him was when he ran on as a replacement. Made just one tackle in his almost 20 minutes on the field.

21 Herschel Jantjies (on for De Klerk, 74 mins)
Not enough time to rate.

22 Elton Jantjies (on for Pollard, 70 min)
Not enough time to rate.

23 Damian Willemse (on for Le Roux, 66 mins)
One carry that looked threatening and one solid tackle in his cameo.


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