SARugbymag.co.za editor SIMON BORCHARDT rates the Springboks after their 20-11 loss to Wales in Cardiff.
15. Willie le Roux – 6
Le Roux kicked a good up and under in the 24th minute that led to a Bok breakdown penalty. He threw a poor long pass early in the second half that was too high for Pieter-Steph du Toit, but the fullback’s lightning quick hands put Jesse Kriel over for the Boks’ only try of the match, in the 55th minute. He made 18 metres from seven runs, according to ESPN’s statistics.
14. Cheslin Kolbe – 8
Kolbe was a late inclusion in the Bok starting XV after S’bu Nkosi was ruled out with a leg injury. He made an excellent start to the match with ball in hand, stepping a total of eight defenders during three early runs. In the 48th minute, Kolbe chipped the ball ahead and then won it back on the ground. He made more running metres than any other player on either side – 76m from nine runs – and completed all five of his tackle attempts.
13. Jesse Kriel – 6
Kriel scored the Boks’ only try of the match, having been held up over the line late in the first half when he had Willie le Roux and Aphiwe Dyantyi on his outside. He put pressure on Wales by rushing up on defence, and made a good tackle on Hadleigh Parkes, but only completed five of his eight tackle attempts.
12. Damian de Allende – 5
De Allende made a strong run early on, but had a quiet game with ball in hand otherwise. He made all five of his tackles, before being substituted in the 45th minute.
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi – 4
Dyantyi never received possession in space, making just 7m from his four runs. He was poor on defence, missing three of his four tackle attempts, and his decision to shoot out of the Boks’ defensive line in the 16th minute helped Wales to score their second try.
10. Handré Pollard – 5
Pollard slotted a 19th-minute penalty goal to give the Boks a 3-0 lead, but was off target with a 52m effort later in the half and couldn’t convert Kriel’s try. His poor pass to Frans Malherbe resulted in a knock-on and he himself lost possession a minute into stoppage time in the first half when the Boks were hot on the attack. Pollard, who made all seven of his tackles, moved to 12 in the 45th minute, when Elton Jantjies came on at flyhalf.
9. Embrose Papier – 7
A clever kick from the scrumhalf put Wales under pressure early on. In the 36th minute, Papier picked up the loose ball from a Bok lineout, broke away down the blindside and kicked ahead. Unfortunately, though, he was unable to regain possession, knocking on 6m out from the Wales tryline. His distribution was crisp – he made 58 passes – and he completed all five of his tackles. It was surprising to see him substituted in the 50th minute for Ivan van Zyl.
8. Duane Vermeulen – 6
Vermeulen was a strong ball-carrier for the Boks, gaining 40m from seven runs. He appeared to have suffered a shoulder injury in the 30th minute, but was able to continue and was penalised for flying into a ruck soon after. On defence, he made five tackles, but missed two. He was substituted in the 64th minute for Francois Louw.
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit – 6
Du Toit made a game-high 17 tackles on Saturday (while missing one) and 14 runs, more than any other player. He appeared to have scored an early try, after throwing a dummy and beating two defenders, but put a foot in touch. Du Toit also knocked on a flat pass from Pollard, was penalised for coming in from the side of a ruck and lost possession in contact in Wales territory.
6. Siya Kolisi – 5
Kolisi played the full 80 minutes of a Test for the first time on this tour. He lost the ball in contact early on, but bounced off Gareth Anscombe during a strong run early in the second half. He made nine tackles, but missed three, and a lack of communication with Jantjies allowed Wales to regather a kick in the 66th minute that led to three points for the hosts.
5. Franco Mostert – 6
Mostert was unable to secure a Bok lineout (only their third of the game) in the 45th minute and missed a crucial tackle on Wales centre Jonathan Davies, which resulted in three points for the hosts. Mostert did, however, make 14 tackles, the second-most by a Bok.
4. RG Snyman – 4
Snyman was penalised for playing a man in the air at an early Wales lineout and left the field in the 12th minute because of a leg injury. He made a tackle, but also missed one.
3. Frans Malherbe – 6
Malherbe was solid at scrum time, made three carries and all four of his tackles. He was substituted in the 46th minute.
2. Malcolm Marx – 6
Marx made three breakdown steals for the Boks and won three of his four lineouts, but he blotted his copybook with a missed tackle on Ellis Jenkins that led to Tomas Francis’ try. Marx was substituted in the 53rd minute.
1. Steven Kitshoff – 7
Kitshoff was also solid up front. He made nine ball-carries and all seven of his tackles, and was a bit unlucky to concede a 28th-minute breakdown penalty for going off his feet when he appeared to have supported his weight. He left the field in the 52nd minute.
16. Bongi Mbonambi – 6
Mbonambi came on in the 53rd minute and helped the Boks win two lineouts in quick succession inside the 22. He also made two runs and a tackle.
17. Thomas du Toit – 7
Du Toit, who came on in the 52nd minute, made another big impact off the Bok bench, winning two scrum penalties and a breakdown penalty. He also made four ball-carries and three tackles.
18. Vincent Koch – 6
Koch replaced Malherbe early in the second half. He did his job up front, made three ball-carries and wasn’t required to make a tackle.
19. Eben Etzebeth – 6
Etzebeth, who missed the France and Scotland Tests because of injury, came on in the 12th minute for the injured Snyman. He won two lineouts and made nine carries, being penalised for holding on in the 43rd minute. He completed all eight of his tackles.
20. Francois Louw – 6
Louw got 16 minutes at No 8 after replacing Vermeulen. While he didn’t force a turnover, he did make the Boks more competitive at the breakdown, while he made 13m from two runs.
21. Ivan van Zyl – 4
Why Erasmus replaced Papier with Van Zyl in the 50th minute, only he will know. The latter’s distribution was slow and his kicking wayward. When Faf de Klerk is available, Van Zyl shouldn’t be anywhere near the match 23.
22. Elton Jantjies – 6
Jantjies came on at flyhalf in the 45th minute. His excellent penalty touch-finder in the 53rd minute gave the Boks a lineout 5m from the Wales tryline and he slotted a penalty goal in the 62nd minute. But two of his high balls went too far, allowing the hosts to regain possession, and lack of communication with Kolisi meant neither of them claimed a Wales kick. Jantjies did get the Bok backline going, though, and worked well with Pollard at 12.
23. Damian Willemse – no rating
Willemse replaced Dyantyi in the 76th minute when the game had already been lost.
Photo: Mike Egerton/Getty Images