Springbok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi finished his first Rugby Championship as the joint top try-scorer, while Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit featured prominently across other categories, writes JON CARDINELLI.
It’s hard to believe that Dyantyi only made his Super Rugby debut – for the Lions – earlier this year. On the back of several potent performances in that tournament, he was brought into the Bok mix as coach Rassie Erasmus looked to harness the 24-year-old’s speed and innate finishing ability.
Nine Tests on, and Dyantyi has scored six tries for his country. Five of those came in the recently concluded Rugby Championship.
According to Opta Stats, the Boks ranked fourth in the tournament for clean breaks, defenders beaten and metres made. South Africa did finish second in the try-scoring stakes (21), though, after New Zealand (33).
Dyantyi, Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane all finished the tournament with five tries apiece. Only Ben Smith (15) made more clean breaks than Dyantyi, Ioane and Bautista Delguy (all 12).
It’s interesting to note that skipper Siya Kolisi was among the leading players for defenders beaten (21). Waisake Naholo (24) topped a list that excluded other Bok players and forwards.
The flanker made more metres (267) than any other Bok player over the course of the tournament. Again, no other forward featured among the best players in this category, which included Dane Haylett-Petty, Smith, Ioane and Barrett.
The South African set piece was ranked second in the competition behind New Zealand. Bok lock Eben Etzebeth (28) won more lineouts than any other player.
The Boks also finished second in the tackle-efficiency stakes. Their success rate of 85.5% was marginally worse than New Zealand’s 85.7.
Unsurprisingly, Bok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit, who contributed a whopping 24 tackles in the Test against the All Blacks in Wellington alone, topped the defence charts. Du Toit finished the tournament with a tally of 83, 11 more than the next player in this category, David Pocock. Kolisi came in at fourth with 67 tackles.
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