The Springboks finished their 2019 home Test campaign with a narrow win over Argentina. JOHN GOLIATH rates the Boks’ performance at Loftus Versfeld.
Warrick Gelant 6/10
Didn’t quite set the world alight with his running game, but made a few decisive offloads. Set up Nkosi’s try with a lovely offload. However, got lucky when a poor clearance kick didn’t cost the Boks after it was knocked on by a Pumas player.
S’bu Nkosi 8
The best finisher in the country. Had a lot of work to do to score his two tries, but showed a lot of determination and power to get over the line. Cheslin Kolbe has got the No 14 jersey pretty much wrapped up, but Nkosi could be a surprise inclusion on the left wing once the World Cup comes around.
Jesse Kriel 6
The outside centre didn’t have a lot of opportunities to show off his running game in a rather scrappy encounter. Had a solid game in defence, but doesn’t quite have the anticipation needed to shine in the Boks’ rush defence.
Andre Esterhuizen 6
Took the ball up with a lot of venom, but doesn’t have the all-round skills of a Damian de Allende. Esterhuizen took the ball to line, but doesn’t have those subtle touches or the distribution range to merit a spot at the World Cup ahead of Damian de Allende or Frans Steyn.
Dillyn Leyds 7
Leyds hardly put a foot wrong. It’s incredible to think that a footballer of his calibre is not going to make the World Cup squad. Leyds plays with a lot of intelligence and would actually be a perfect player to have in terms of his covering and attacking play.
Elton Jantjies 7
Slotted two crucial pressure penalties to help the Boks get over the line. It’s something that is going to please coach Rassie Erasmus, as World Cups do sometimes come down to pressure kicks. Also created space for Gelant to put Nkosi away.
Cobus Reinach 5
It wasn’t the greatest of outings for the England-based scrumhalf. Threw a needless intercept pass shortly before half time which led to an Argentina try. His service lacked a bit of spark, while he also didn’t kick well. Should still be in the World Cup squad, though.
Marcell Coetzee 6
Got a knock to the head late in the first half and didn’t come back on the park. Had a outing while on the field, with a steal and a few runs. However, he would have liked a full match to show his prowess before Erasmus announces his final squad.
Rynhardt Elstadt 6
Did the dirty work with 17 tackles, but it should not be enough to make the World Cup squad. Elstadt is a wonderfully physical player, but doesn’t really offer anything more than that.
Siya Kolisi 7
Was probably the best of the Boks’ loose forwards in the first half, even though he had only played just over a half of rugby leading into the Test. His carrying and ability to break the line is something the Boks will need at the World Cup.
Lood de Jager 7
Was penalised for diving in in the first half, but otherwise had a really solid outing for a guy who hasn’t really played a lot of rugby in the last few months. Also had a very good showing in the lineouts. The lock stocks are full, but De Jager should go to the World Cup.
RG Snyman 7
Snyman is some player. Carries well, but is always looking to offload to a player in a better position. His work around the park is also underrated. The Boks are blessed with a lot of top locks, and Snyman is going to provide a lot of impetus playing off the bench at the World Cup.
Vincent Koch 7
Had a good game in the tight loose. Koch is a prop who gets around the park and made a real push in terms of World Cup selection. His scrumming isn’t quite as good as Trevor Nyakane and Frans Malherbe’s.
Schalk Britz 7
Had a solid outing as captain of the Boks. A few good runs, and got over the advantage line with his stepping ability. His lineout throwing was also good. Probably going to play a bit-part role at the World Cup, but his experience is will be vital in the group.
Thomas du Toit 6
Had a chance to stake his claim for a World Cup berth, but didn’t quite deliver. The Boks need a swinger in the front row, and it looks like Trevor Nyakane might just be that guy, while Koch may be selected as another tighthead. Nyakane, though, should still start in the No 3 jersey.