On his return to the starting lineup, Malcolm Marx was a standout performer for the Springboks as they claimed a comfortable win over Argentina on Saturday. CRAIG LEWIS picks and rates some of the top performers.
Malcolm Marx 9
Marx has been waiting for an opportunity to start, and he certainly made the most of it. In typical fashion, he claimed two superb turnovers at the breakdown while his lineout throwing was almost flawless. Marx also made nine tackles, six carries and scored a try from the back of yet another tight-knit maul. It was an emphatic performance, and one that served as a reminder of just how little separates him and Bongi Mbonambi when it comes to the Boks’ embarrassment of riches at hooker.
Lood de Jager 8
On his 50th Test appearance, De Jager was a towering presence for the Springboks. He often does the work that goes unnoticed, but as the architect of the Boks’ lineout, he again reigned supreme at this set piece (six lineouts won, and one stolen). The big man completed seven carries, 15 metres and racked up 14 tackles (the most of any Springbok) with a 100% success rate.
Damian de Allende 7
Once again, the inside centre got through his work with good effect, hardly putting a foot wrong whether the Boks were with or without possession. Impressively, the Sanzaar stats credit De Allende with five defenders beaten, 10 carries, eight passes and 31m made. On defence, he also completed seven tackles.
Jasper Wiese 7
This performance wasn’t as impressive as last weekend’s man-of-the-match display, but take nothing away from Wiese. Once again he led the forwards for carries (11), racked up 37 run metres and made six tackles. He has grown into his role at No 8, and remains solid when receiving kick-offs. In the absence of Duane Vermeulen, it has been important for the Springboks to build some depth at eighthman, and Wiese certainly deserves kudos in this regard.
Cheslin Kolbe 7
The dynamic wing won’t be stealing headlines after this performance, but he completed a lot of good work. Kolbe’s importance to the Bok cause can’t be underestimated as he often pops up to play a role as the stand-in scrumhalf when the need arises, continually chases kicks effectively, and boasts superb tackle technique against bigger opponents. On Saturday, he made five tackles and won a turnover, while beating two defenders.