Player Ratings: South Africa
OPINION: South Africa scored seven tries in their 49-18 in their victory over Tonga in Marseilles on Sunday, moving to the top of Pool A.
They needed a bonus point victory but it was not a faultless performance and the Springboks will have to improve going forward in the World Cup.
A lot of physical questions were asked by Tonga, but South Africa stood up to it, although it must be said it was probably their worst performance at the World Cup thus far.
Here is how we rated the Springboks:
1 – Ox Nche – 6/10
Strong in the scrums, getting over the advantage line, leaving the field for an HIA after 44 minutes.
2 – Deon Fourie – 7.5/10
Near perfect performance at hooker. He worked hard in tackles, and scored the third try. He is clearly loving life as a hooker. he moved to loose-forward later in the game replacing Kolisi, making a nuisance of himself in the loose. He earned the Man of the Match reward.
3 – Vincent Koch – 5/10
Had some strong carries, stood steady in the scrums, nothing spectacular.
4 – Eben Etzebeth – 6.5/10
Hard work in the line-outs and mauls, almost received a yellow for a high tackle. A solid performance.
5 – Marvin Orie – 6/10
He missed the first line out ball, from there improved dramatically. He was great at contesting on Tonga throw in, huge effort in defence on the Springboks’ tryline. Left the field after an hour.
6 – Siya Kolisi – 5/10
The captain had a relatively quiet night on his 50th as captain.
7 – Duane Vermeulen – 6.5/10
Heroic work in defence, especially on South Africa’s try-line. Playing at seven and playing the full 80 minutes is commendable.
8 – Jasper Wiese – 6.5/10
He stood up strong in defence, always popping up to take the ball up. Solid defensive play.
9 – Cobus Reinach – 7/10
Got the first Springbok try uick try early, after quick thinking and catching Tonga off-guard. He was chasing kicks, sometimes over eager, handing Tonga penalty kick.
10 – Handre Pollard – 7.5/10
Coming into the game with only 30 minutes under the belt, he did not stand back in defence, accurate goal-kicking, spotted space for a high kick to gift Moodie his try. Made a successful and welcome return to Test rugby. Left the field after 50 minutes.
11 – Makzole Mapimpi – 4/10
Left the field after 20 min after a head clash, replaced by Kriel.
12 – Andre Esterhuizen – 7.5/10
One of the stand-out players in the Springbok team. Had some nice strong running in midfield, great carries and making metres. Got desperately close to a try a minute before full-time. Got South Africa over the advantage line every time he touched the ball.
13 – Canan Moodie – 6.5/10
He scored the second try, using opportunity and pace. He moved to wing when Mapimpi went off. Great off-load to Le Roux for a try in the corner.
14 – Grant Williams – 6/10
The live wire was popping up everywhere, also cleaning up behind the rucks, always hard working.
15 – Willie le Roux – 6/10
Almost handed Tonga their first try, missing the high kick in South Africa’s in-goal area, also missed a big tackle on the side-line allowing Tonga a line-break. Was also caught out of position which allowed Tonga their second try. Got SA’s fifth try on his 90th Test cap.
16 – Marco van Staden – 6.5/10
He finished off a great move started by Kwagga Smith. Also won an excellent tight-head against the powerful Tongans. Struggled with his throwing in the line-outs.
17 – Steven Kitshoff – 5/10
He entered the fray after 44 minuntes of play. Got a penalty against him from a scrum putting his knee on the ground. Quiet half.
18 – Trevor Nyakane – 5.5/10
He entered the action at the start of the second half. In tandem with Kitshoff and Van Staden produced a powerful scrumming display.
19 – Franco Mostert – 6.5/10
He replaced Orie after 60 minutes. Solid performance in the line-outs. Helped to drive Van Staden over the try-line.
20 – Kwagga Smith – 7.5/10
He joined the action after 50 minutes, replacing Wiese. He made a proper nuisance of himself in the loose. Always has his timing right to steal possession on the ground. Brilliant break in mid-field resulting in Van Staden’s try. Got SA’s try in the 80th minute.
21 – Jaden Hendrikse – 5.5/10
He replaced Reinach after 50 minutes of rugby. Did not always make the most accurate decisions.
22 – Jesse Kriel – 6.5/10
He got South Africa’s fourth bonus point try. Working in tandem with Kwagga after a great line-break resulting in Van Staden’s try. Massive work-rate.
23 – Manie Libbok – 6.5/10
He replaced Pollard after 50 minutes. Great first kick for touch, metres from the Tonga try-line. Good kicking performance from the tee as well while his line-kicks were sterling as always.