Stat attack: Captain Kolisi leads from the front looks at the top stats and performances from the Springboks’ series-levelling victory over the British & Irish Lions this past Saturday.

The Springboks arguably produced their finest half of rugby of the series to come from a 9-6 half-time deficit and claim a 27-9 victory over the Lions.

After being on the back foot for most of the first half, the Springboks flew out of the blocks in the second period, taking the lead through Makazole Mapimpi’s try, before Lukhanyo Am scored to give the hosts enough of a buffer to see out the match.


After struggling to break down the Lions’ defence in the first half and battling to keep possession under the high ball, the Springboks switched tack in the second half, seeing more possession and dominating territory.

This came from the Springboks turning the Lions’ tactics, which had worked for the tourists in the first half, on them – isolating players under the high ball and forcing them into errors and subsequently building pressure from penalties off the set piece.

In the end, the tactic worked a treat as the Boks scored two tries against the Lions, both from kicks in behind the defence.

Indicative of this type of Test match, Willie le Roux made the most metres of any player with only 25 through the full 80 minutes, according to stats from the Ultimate Rugby app. As one would probably expect, the Boks used Damian de Allende as a battering ram, but the inside centre shone, making 11 carries, 23m and beating two defenders.

Of course, the Bok pack have to be mentioned. They worked their socks off to ensure the backline got clean possession in the second half. Franco Mostert was once again on top of his game as he hit 25 attacking rucks, while tighthead prop Frans Malherbe’s undervalued presence was highlighted by his 17 attacking breakdown hits.


This is where Springbok captain Siya Kolisi came alive, enjoying one of his finest and most influential performances.

Playing 73 minutes, Kolisi made the most defensive ruck hits of any Springbok player in the match (13) and the joint-second most-overall breakdown hits of any Springbok (24).

Of course, Kolisi had one of the influential tackles in the match when he managed to prevent Lions centre Robbie Henshaw from scoring in the latter stages of the first half. Overall, Kolisi made two dominant tackles, the joint most of any Springbok, and a total of 13 tackles with a 100% success rate.

Six players – Makazole Mapimpi, Lukhanyo Am, Vincent Koch, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden and Malcolm Marx – managed to win turnovers for the Springboks, illustrating the effectiveness of their defence in the second half.

It should also be noted that Mostert and Malherbe ranked high with tackles made, with 14 and 12, respectively.

Photo: BackpagePix

Post by

Dylan Jack