Springbok wing Makazole Mapimpi has downplayed his two-try performance in the team’s 15-point win over Scotland in Edinburgh after being applauded by coach Jacques Nienaber.
Mapimpi scored his 18th and 19th tries in his 24th Test for the Springboks, helping his team claim what turned out to be a fairly comfortable victory at Murrayfield, despite trailing at half-time.
In each half, the 31-year-old showed searing pace on the left wing to finish off counter-attacking opportunities – the first coming from swift captain Siya Kolisi hands and the second from a Damian de Allende offload. Both tries also featured Willie le Roux and Lukhanyo Am in the buildup.
“It’s a good feeling to have the ball in my hand and when I’m handed opportunities to finish something off,” Mapimpi said after the match.
“But it’s my job, too. There’s a real desire from us to strike as much as possible [on attack]. We do a lot of analysis on teams and, in some instances [like this match], it’s about attacking from a turnover.”
Mapimpi said he had to stay alert for his second try, as he did not anticipate De Allende getting his hands through the tackle to offload the ball.
“That was actually something that I didn’t expect. My eyes were just on Damian himself, so I had to switch them quite quickly. It was awesome.”
Mapimpi has now scored against every Test nation he has faced at a strike rate of 0.83 tries per game, with Bryan Habana on 0.54 tries per game.
However, for Nienaber, Mapimpi’s importance also lies in his work rate without possession and his willingness to go above and beyond when chasing kicks and making tackles.
“Makazole is an outstanding player,” Nienaber said. “He scored two glittering tries. He’s doing that against every team he faces.
“If you look at the work he does off the ball and in training, it’s amazing. He just works so hard on his whole game.
“His skill set just keeps developing and improving, not just his finishing.”
Photo: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images