The Springboks produced a powerful forward performance to see off Italy. JOHN GOLIATH rates the Boks following their crucial Pool B win.
Willie le Roux 7
The Bok fullback probably had his best Test of 2019. Got more involved in the Boks’ attack and would have scored a try in the first half if Cheslin Kolbe’s pass wasn’t slightly behind him. Created Makazole Mapimpi’s try with a lovely chip over the top. However, needs to straighten the line when in space with ball in hand.
Cheslin Kolbe 9
South Africa is holding its breath after he went off with an ankle injury late in the second half, which looks like it could be serious. Before that the Bok wing put in another outstanding performance, scoring a brace of tries and again out jumping much taller players in the high-ball contest.
Lukhanyo Am 8
Very good game for the Bok outside centre. He defended his channel well, and even made a couple of steals on the ground. Got some ball in space and showed his pace. Scored a try in the second half with an intercept that showcased his great anticipation.
Damian de Allende 9
An absolute machine. De Allende is a key part of the Bok side, because of his ability to give the team momentum, especially from standings starts. He has the ability to gain metres with opposition players on his back, while he also showed some lovely touches. He also competes hard at the breakdown and won a penalty for the Boks.
Makazole Mapimpi 7
The Sharks man put in a solid shift. He was very good on defence, making his tackles and also anticipating well and reading the situations. His cover work at the back was also very good. Didn’t get a lot of ball in space, but finished off well when he ran down a Le Roux chip in the second half.
Handre Pollard 7
The Bok general had a decent outing. The kicked really well when the Boks needed to clear their lines, while he also took the on the Italians with ball in hand. His distribution was good. However, knocked in his own 22 when he needed to be more decisive to clear the lines.
Faf de Klerk 7
His quicksilver service, paired with exceptional carrying from the forwards, helped the Boks to get a lot momentum in the opening 10 minutes. De Klerk looked a lot sharper, while his kicking was much better than in the match against the All Blacks. Still prone to conceding the odd penalty.
Duane Vermeulen 8
Big game for the big Bok 8. Carried strong from the first kickoff and helped the Boks gain momentum. His work-rate around the park, as he hit rucks on attack and slowed down the Italians’ ball on defence. Managed to win a penalty for the Boks at the breakdown. Seems to be okay after being dumped on his head, while his ego may also be bruised after being the victim of a hand off
Pieter-Steph du Toit 7
Another top match for South Africa’s indefatigable flank. Carried with a lot of venom and tackled with the same sort of bite. Always seem to find himself in the right place at the right time, and scored a good try. However, a terrible offload also saw a five-pointer butchered in the second half.
Siya Kolisi 7
The Bok captain came through 80 minutes of Test rugby for the first time this year. He is looking a lot sharper and did a lot of work the donkeywork around the park. He will hopefully be back to his very best once the playoffs come around.
Lood de Jager 8
De Jager had the sort of outing against the Italians that made a big statement in terms of who starts in the No 5 jersey in the playoffs. De Jager was everywhere, carrying well, hitting rucks and supporting nicely. He was also very good in the lineouts, although he did concede a penalty for playing an opposition player in the air.
Eben Etzebeth 7
The Bok enforcer has been in the news this week for all the wrong reasons. But the dark cloud above his head hasn’t influenced his play as the Bok hardman. Played a pivotal role in the Boks’ destructive mauling, while he also carried and tackles with a lot of fire.
Frans Malherbe 8
It’s a real pity that uncontested scrums spoiled his fun. Malherbe was all over the Italians at scrum time and shoved them into the ground. But he was also really lively around the park as well, with his support play and cleaning really good.
Bongi Mbonambi 8
Mbonambi makes some great decisions at the back of the Bok maul and was again amongst the try-scorers. He knows when to the hold the ball in, when to release to the scrumhalf or breakaway himself. Also brought a lot of energy with his carrying and big hits.
Tendai Mtawaira 7
The most capped Bok at the World Cup would also have wanted to earn his match fee with ‘real’ scrums following their dominance in this set piece early on. Nevertheless, he also had a decent outing.
RG Snyman 8
Snyman is proper impact player. He can mix it up upfront, but does have that ability to shine when the game gets loose. Scored his first Test try against the Italians.
Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images