Player ratings: PSDT, Fassi fire for Boks

Aphelele Fassi enjoyed a memorable Test debut, while Pieter-Steph du Toit sent out a reminder of his class against Georgia on Friday night. CRAIG LEWIS rates the triumphant Boks following their 40-9 win.

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Willie le Roux 7

The conductor for plenty of the Springboks’ play, and he served another reminder as to just why he is so important to the Bok cause. Certainly not everything went according to plan as a couple of chip kicks were hacked into touch in the first half, but the stalwart is peerless when it comes to reading the game from the back.

Rosko Specman 6

You could almost sense how keen he was to get involved in play on his Test debut, but the ball and opportunities were unfortunately few and far between. The former sevens star really gets around the park, though, and the Boks will know they have a secret weapon in him.

Jesse Kriel 7

South Africa’s poster boy for conditioning will never be found wanting when it comes to work rate, and his multi-faceted role around the park is often under-appreciated.

Frans Steyn 6

The two-time World Cup winer was direct as ever from midfield, but was guilty of conceding a couple of turnovers and a penalty in the first half. Didn’t really look to be in the zone after understandably limited game time with the Cheetahs, but the Boks will always value the power game and experience he offers.

Aphelele Fassi 8

Scored a try in the fifth minute with his first touch, and set up another with a lovely piece of handling and chip kick. It was pretty much a dream debut for the youngster, who didn’t put a foot wrong on the wing, and looked like a natural fit for Test rugby.

Handré Pollard 6

This performance from the flyhalf won’t be grabbing any headlines, but it’s another important bit of game time for him to have banked. The manner in which he read play to create the try finished by Reinach was memorable, while his bullet passes will always set him apart.

Cobus Reinach 7

The standout moment for the scrumhalf was his role in both starting a dummy box-kick move on his own 22m and then finishing off the same movement with a try after the Boks had counter-attacked across the length of the field. He is a game-breaker, and the Boks will know exactly what they can get out of playing the fleet-footed No 9.

Kwagga Smith 6

A scrappy, niggly game was never going to be the ideal scene for the dynamic loose forward to shine. Yet the game time gained as the Springboks’ No 8 will certainly have done him no harm.

Pieter-Steph du Toit 8

Another super-human effort from PSDT. He was the 2019 Player of the Year, and after overcoming a horror injury, the blindside flank is now looking fit and ferocious once again. The mobile back rower racked up metres with a host of free-flowing runs where it almost seemed like no one wanted to tackle him. His work rate was, as always, remarkable.

Siya Kolisi 7

A really good outing for the Springbok captain. Getting through 80 minutes would serve as another important confidence booster, and he really looks well-conditioned for Test rugby now.

Franco Mostert 7

We might as well rename him Mr Work Rate. The lanky lock does all the dirty work, hitting rucks, racking up tackle after tackle and serving as a superb lineout option. Top game from the second rower.

Eben Etzebeth 6

Was the front man for the Boks’ forward-based physicality in the first half, as per usual, but was replaced by Marvin Orie after the interval. Will lament one ill-timed offload, but it was a decent enough 40 minutes of action.

Trevor Nyakane 6

Was pinged for a penalty at the first scrum, and spent nearly 10 minutes off the field in the first half after undergoing an HIA. Those were the low points in an otherwise industrious performance.

Bongi Mbonambi 7

Scored a try with his trademark snipe from the base of a maul at just the right time. He looks fit and strong, and will surely only get better as this international season goes on.

Ox Nché 7

A solid return to Test rugby for the mobile front ranker – more than three years after his first international appearance – who offered a meaty ball-carrying option and high work rate.

Standout substitute: Damian Willemse 7

Came on at centre, and looked really up for it. It was an interesting positional move for Willemse, who has predominantly been seen as a flyhalf or fullback, but has always boasted attributes to star at 12.

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Craig Lewis