The Springboks booked their place in next week’s World Cup final with a thrilling 19-16 victory over Wales. JOHN GOLIATH rates the Boks’ performance in the semi-final.
Willie le Roux 5
Had a poor first half, but came back strongly with a couple of good takes in the air. His high kicks were also decent. But other than that he doesn’t offer the Boks a lot. His confidence is clearly shot and he is looking like a shadow of the player he was in 2018.
Sbu Nkosi 6
Was a bit too narrow on defence in the first half, but corrected that later in the game. Chased tirelessly throughout the game and even won a few contests in the air. Made metres when he had a chance with ball in hand.
Lukhanyo Am 7
Organised the Bok defence well in midfield and also put in a few good hits. The ball didn’t come his way on attack, but he also chased well and competed for the ball in the air. Couldn’t do anything to prevent Wales’ try in the second half.
Damian de Allende 9
What a player! What a World Cup this guy is having. If you still don’t see this guy’s value in a Bok jersey, then you need to get your head checked. Carried like an absolute machine, but tackled his socks off with the third-most hits in the game. His try will be remembered for a long time by many South Africans.
Makazole Mapimpi 7
When you kick so much ball away you need your chasers to be on the ball. Mapimpi was simply outstanding today. He chased like a champion, making seven tackles in the match and just missing one. He would have liked some more ball to operate with, though.
Handre Pollard 7
We have to be honest and say that his all-round game was pretty shoddy for about an hour. But in the last 20 minutes he started to take some control. Sparked the move that led to De Allende’s try when he started to take the ball flat. However, the bulk of his marks are for his deadly goal-kicking. The Boks’ have a new iceman.
Faf de Klerk 7
His left foot took another pounding, as he kicked the leather off the ball throughout the game. But he kicked a lot better, with box kicks being a lot more effective. He also identified the space nicely, with his final kick helping the Boks to seal the deal. He was also good on defence, but made a mistake at the scrum which led to Wales’ try.
Duane Vermeulen 8
Massive game for the experienced Bok No 8. Had a few big runs, which left the Welsh battered and bruised throughout the encounter. He made the second-most metres of all the players on the park, while he also tackled everything that moved and slowed down the Welsh ball.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 8
Attempted 18 tackles (the most by any player in the match) and just missed two. He was again the indefatigable man in the Boks’ pack. He really stopped Wales’ momentum around the rucks as well. He also carried well.
Siya Kolisi 7
Someone had to do the dirty work and the Bok captain spent most of the contest with his head stuck in a ruck. Made eight tackles, and on attack he always seemed to be on the shoulder of a Bok ball-carrier. Made good decisions in the heat of battle.
Lood de Jager 7
Was again tireless and powerful in the tight exchanges. He stopped a lot of players next to the ruck, but also cleaned properly. Marshalled the Boks’ maul well, and tried to put some pressure on the Welsh ball at the lineout.
Eben Etzebeth 7
Another player who was massive in the trenches. Didn’t get a lot of chances to run at Wales with ball in hand, but he really played his role as No 4 lock well. Brought that energy and intensity to the Boks’ effort and played a massive support role in cleaning rucks.
Frans Malherbe 8
Huge game for the Stormers tighthead prop. He was strong in the carry, but it’s his work on defence and at scrum time that was impressive. Made a phenomenal seven tackles in 47 minutes as a No 3, and also scrummed Wales into the ground.
Bongi Mbonambi 7
Unfortunately the Boks’ 100% record at lineout time came to end during the match, but the hooker was again all over the park, tackling and cleaning rucks. He is also the best scrumming hooker in the world and plays a massive role in that department.
Tendai Mtawarira 7
The veteran loosehead doesn’t seem to slow down. Made six tackles during his time on the field and didn’t miss a single one. Also a great support player, while he also scrummed really well. Hopefully he can end his international career with a bang next Saturday.
Vincent Koch 8
How do you manage to make 10 tackles, the second most in the match, in just 33 minutes? Koch made a massive impact around the park, and then scrummed Wales into the ground when the Boks needed a big right shoulder at the end of the match.
Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images