The All Blacks and Springboks shared the points in Wellington. JOHN GOLIATH rates the Boks following another epic Test at the Cake Tin.
Willie le Roux 5
Le Roux was magnificent in Wellington in 2018, and had a hand in many of the Boks’ tries. However, this time around he didn’t quite take the initiative to try to create that spark the Boks on attack. His kicking from the back wasn’t great, either.
Cheslin Kolbe 8
This little guy has the biggest heart in world rugby. Tackled anything that moved, even people twice his size, collected high balls and made a couple of darting runs even though he didn’t get the space he wanted. His little chip at the end led to the Boks’ decisive try.
Lukhanyo Am 6
Didn’t really get his hands on the ball in space, as the ‘pill’ didn’t really go past the inside-centre channel. When he did, the All Blacks wrapped him up tight. Made a few big hits on defence, but also needs to communicate better in the Boks’ defensive system.
Damian de Allende 6
Was primarily used to truck the ball up from first phase, probably on instruction. He did that job well, while he also kept a close eye on the dangerous Sonny Bill Williams. There is more to him than just a basher, however, and the Boks need to realise that.
Makazole Mapimpi 5
Had a bright start to the game, but became a victim of the Boks’ ‘Russian Roulette’ defensive system. The All Blacks are a wonderfully skillful team, and when they started to figure the Boks out they created space out wide. Still, Mapimpi needs to work on when to go for the smother tackle or when to hang back. Ball also didn’t come his way to run with.
Handré Pollard 6
Was really physical and attacked the line well with ball in hand. Also tackled well in his channel. However, couldn’t quite create that width in the second half, when the Boks needed to try to get behind the All Blacks. Missed a simple penalty in the first half, but converted the pressure kick in the end.
Faf de Klerk 6
The fiery Bok scrumhalf left the field early in the second half for a concussion test, which he failed. Marshalled the Boks well in the first half and his box kicking was excellent. However, there were also some aimless kicks, especially from turnover ball, which could have been used to attack the All Blacks.
Duane Vermeulen 6
Vermeulen led the Boks well. He did a lot more grafting and got stuck into the tight exchanges. Wasn’t really a factor on the ground, as the All Blacks cleaned out well during the game. Also didn’t have opportunities to run hard at Richie Mo’unga.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 8
Indefatigable! How is it possible for this guy to play at almost 200% for 80 minutes in every Test match he plays? Was again all over the park, tackling, carrying and cleaning rucks. But he always seems to be up in support, and was even there for the Boks’ try in the final minute. Unbelievable!
Kwagga Smith 7
Smith had a busy match. He cleaned rucks, made tackles and even had a few bursts with ball in hand. However, it was his covering and anticipation, especially in the first half, that was a standout feature of his play. Conceded a penalty on the ground.
Franco Mostert 6
Mostert is one of the Boks’ unsung heroes. Again worked himself into the ground and showcased his big engine, even though he hasn’t played competitive rugby for almost two months. He may need to make bigger contributions in his carrying, though, as Lood de Jager and RG Snyman are still waiting in the wings.
Eben Etzebeth 7
Massive 51 minutes from the Springboks’ superstar lock. Carried the ball up with a lot venom and gave the team a lot of momentum on attack. He is only going to get better with more game time ahead of the World Cup. He is the best No 4 in South Africa.
Frans Malherbe 5
Was really solid in the scrum in the first half and worked his socks off around the park. However, faded in the second half, which led to a penalty for the All Blacks. Also needs more rugby under the belt to get back to his best.
Malcolm Marx 7
Didn’t have a lot of opportunities to steal the ball, as the All Blacks’ cleaners were very good on the day. However, still carried strong and made some big hits on defence. The Boks’ lineout still remains a bit of a worry, though.
Steven Kitshoff 7
‘Rooi Gevaar’ is one of the best looseheads in the world. Was a willing carrier from slow and static ball, and also made many tackles and competed well for the ball on the ground. Was part of the Boks scrum that wilted a bit in the second half.
Herschel Jantjies 8
Give this kid a hand! Came on early in the second half for De Klerk and didn’t look like he was playing his first Test against the All Blacks in New Zealand. His passing was crisp and his box kicks accurate. When the game was on the line, he again stood up and scored the try which gave the Boks a tie.
Photo: Steve Haag Sports via Hollywoodbets