The Boks claimed a comfortable victory in Friday’s World Cup warm-up clash against Japan. CRAIG LEWIS rates the players.
Willie le Roux 6
Solid outing from the fullback stalwart. Le Roux superbly collected one kick and then set Makazole Mapimpi away for a try. He adds important experience to the backline, but didn’t blow the lights out with this performance.
Cheslin Kolbe 8
There’s not much Kolbe can’t do. The diminutive winger scored two tries, punched above his weight as usual on defence, and was a nuisance when competing for the ball in the air. He has made the No 14 jersey his own.
Lukhanyo Am 7
A lot of Am’s work goes unnoticed. However, this was another composed performance from the Sharks star, who marshalled the defence well and hardly put a foot wrong. He can’t really be blamed for the dropped ball that led to Japan’s only try.
Damian de Allende 6
Not really a performance that will keep De Allende’s detractors at bay. His one horror show was a terrible kick off the left foot that went directly into touch when there was space out wide, but he did show a neat touch not long after. He’s a player desperate for a big game.
Makazole Mapimpi 9
You’ve got to admire Mapimpi. He’s emerged as the form South African wing this year, and again he was in a class of his own on Friday. His work rate was top notch, while he clinically finished off a hat-trick of tries in another standout peformance.
Handre Pollard 7
This was another good showing from the flyhalf general. Understandably, many pundits believe he will be crucial to the Boks’ cause if they are to have success at this World Cup, and the good news is that he heads into the tournament in good form both in general play and in terms of his kicking game.
Faf de Klerk 6
Not really a game to remember for De Klerk. His box kicks were a mixed bag, and while his service was generally good, the Boks will be hoping he rediscovers his spark sooner rather than later.
Duane Vermeulen 7
He’s become the Boks’ go-to man when it comes to receive the kick offs. The big No 8 was again solid in that department, while adding his usual physicality to proceedings.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 8
Du Toit just keeps on doing his thing, and doing it very well. The 2018 SA Rugby Player of the Year has added a lot of refinement to become a complete all-round player, and marked his 50th Test with another industrious performance.
Siya Kolisi 6
The Bok captain got some much-needed game-time under the belt, and that is more important than anything else. Wasn’t particularly noticeable in general play, but his work rate was impressive for someone who has just come back from injury, and he did a lot of work on defence and at the breakdown.
Franco Mostert 7
There’s good reason for Mostert to be the Boks’ first-choice at No 5. He has a simply insatiable work engine, and his presence on defence and at the breakdown is often underappreciated.
Eben Etzebeth 6
It was a bit of a flat performance from the powerful lock. He produced one superb lineout steal early on and enjoyed the odd decent carry, but otherwise didn’t really make his presence felt as much as one might expect against Japan.
Frans Malherbe 5
Again, it’s difficult to quite understand why Malherbe is categorically viewed as the first-choice tighthead. Yes, he does a decent job at scrum time, but doesn’t appear to have the conditioning to bring much mobility or added value in other aspects of play.
Malcolm Marx 6
It was a decent enough display from the Bok hooker, but he still doesn’t quite seem to have the same impact that we have become accustomed to. Will need to deliver in the coming weeks to ensure he isn’t displaced by Bongi Mbonambi.
Steven Kitshoff 7
The Stormers strongman produced an industrious effort. He scrummed well and also had an important presence at the breakdown. Beast Mtawarira will continue to push him hard for a starting berth though.
Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets