SARugbymag.co.za editor SIMON BORCHARDT rates the Springboks after their 26-20 win against Scotland at Murrayfield.
15. Willie le Roux – 7
Le Roux knocked on early in the game, but gave the try-scoring pass to Handré Pollard in the 20th minute. The fullback was good under the high ball and kicked well tactically. He was harshly yellow-carded for a deliberate knockdown in the 45th minute when going for an intercept, but the Boks conceded just three points while he was off the field.
14. S’bu Nkosi – 6
Nkosi received limited attacking opportunities, making four runs and one clean break. He also had a hand in Pollard’s try and did well to pick up the loose ball when Scotland failed to collect a restart. Nkosi was, however, unable to regain possession from a pin-point box kick from Embrose Papier late in the first half. The wing, who completed four of his five tackles according to ESPN’s statistics, was substituted in the 64th minute.
13. Jesse Kriel – 7
Kriel did well to round off the Boks’ first try in the sixth minute. He ended up making six runs during the match and completed seven tackles, while missing one.
12. Damian de Allende – 6
De Allende, along with Siya Kolisi, won a breakdown turnover early in the match. In the 22nd minute, he kept the Scots under pressure with a good kick into their 22. During the 55 minutes De Allende was on the field, he made 16m from six runs and two tackles.
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi – 5
Dyantyi would have loved to have seen more of the ball. He made just two runs in the match, beating a defender on one occasion. He dropped a Scotland kick in the 69th minute but made both of his tackles.
10. Handré Pollard – 7
It was Pollard’s break and pass to Papier that led to Kriel’s early try, and the flyhalf crossed the line himself in the 20th minute after throwing a good dummy. Pollard, who moved to inside centre in the 56th minute, would finish with 47m gained from 10 runs and two clean breaks. He slotted his first five goal kicks before missing two in a row, and made six tackles, while missing three.
9. Embrose Papier – 7
Having got a total of 27 minutes of game time as a substitute in his first five Tests, Papier would have savoured 77 minutes in his first start. He ran a good line and drew a defender before passing in the buildup to Kriel’s try, and his quick lineout throw in the 73rd minute resulted in the Boks getting back into Scotland’s 22. The 21-year-old passed 80 times, made 28m from three runs, and completed six of his seven tackles. He also kicked well, apart from one effort that gifted possession back to the hosts.
8. Duane Vermeulen – 8
Vermeulen showed why he should always play the full 80 minutes at No 8, his preferred position. He made three important breakdown steals, carried the ball strongly, completed all seven of his tackles, took a lineout ball and claimed a high ball.
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit – 7
Du Toit made the most runs by a Bok (12) and 10 tackles (while missing one). He stole a Scotland lineout and was penalised in the 66th minute for a dangerous cleanout that, fortunately for the Boks, didn’t result in a yellow card.
6. Siya Kolisi – 7
Kolisi impressed at the breakdown, forcing an early turnover along with De Allende, stealing possession in the 20th minute which led to Pollard’s try, and applying pressure on Scotland that saw them lose the ball early in the second half. The captain also made four runs and completed all 10 of his tackles, being substituted in the 66th minute. It remains to be seen, however, whether he is cited for an alleged headbutt on Scotland centre Pete Horne.
5. Franco Mostert – 7
Mostert made more tackles than any other Bok (13), seven runs and secured a Bok lineout during his 80 minutes on the field.
4. RG Snyman – 7
Snyman secured three of his lineout balls but lost one early in the second half. He made a good offload in the buildup to Kriel’s try after one of his four runs in the match and completed 11 of his 12 tackles. He was substituted in the 60th minute.
3. Frans Malherbe – 6
The tighthead prop was solid at scrum time during his 58 minutes on the field. He was penalised in the 14th minute for coming in from the side of a ruck when the Boks were a metre out from the Scotland tryline. He made a good carry early in the second half, but knocked on a couple of minutes later. On defence, Malherbe completed all four of his tackles.
2. Malcolm Marx – 6
The Boks won eight of their nine lineouts while Marx was on the field. The hooker gained 15m from five runs, and made six tackles, while missing two. He was substituted in the 66th minute.
1. Steven Kitshoff – 7
Kitshoff won his scrum battle against WP Nel, although he was penalised on one occasion when he popped up. He had a hand in Kriel’s try, made 21 running metres from six carries and made seven of his eight tackles. Kitshoff left the field in the 58th minute.
16. Bongi Mbonambi – 7
Mbonambi had another good cameo off the bench. His lineout throwing was spot-on during his 14-minute stint and he made a vital tackle in the 71st minute that led to Scotland being penalised and three points for Elton Jantjies. He also carried the ball on three occasions. Could we see him start against Wales next Saturday?
17. Thomas du Toit – 6
Du Toit replaced Kitshoff in the 58th minute and was solid at scrum time. The loosehead’s good work at the breakdown forced Adam Hastings to hold on to the ball and concede a penalty. He carried the ball once, made two tackles and missed one.
18. Vincent Koch – 6
Koch came on for Malherbe in the 58th minute. The tighthead did a good job up front, carried the ball twice, made a tackle and missed one.
19. Lood de Jager – 6
The lock got 20 minutes off the bench, during which time he won two lineouts, had six ball-carries and made two tackles.
20. Francois Louw – 6
Louw replaced Kolisi in the 66th minute of the match and went on to make three carries and a tackle.
21. Ivan van Zyl – no rating
Van Zyl came on for Papier in the 77th minute.
22. Elton Jantjies – 7
Jantjies played 25 minutes at flyhalf, with Pollard shifting to 12. He missed touch from behind the Bok tryline, but did well to take a high ball soon after and slotted an important penalty goal with eight minutes to go. He gained 21m from three runs and completed both of his tackles.
23. Cheslin Kolbe – 6
Kolbe replaced Nkosi in the 64th minute. He made 12m from two runs and a couple of tackles.
Photo: Tim Williams/Getty Images