Independent Media rugby writer Wynona Louw rates the Springboks after their victory against France at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The Springboks pulled off a 35-12 win, clinching the series 3-0.
Andries Coetzee 6.5/10: Another reliable performance. He came painfully close to getting his first try in a Springbok jersey. Good under the high ball. His under-pressure clearance kick from own in-goal area in the first half was great.
Raymond Rhule 5/10: Didn’t get many chances, but last week the ball didn’t just come his way either and he went looking for work. Chased well, but struggled with his one-on-one tackles. I would have like Dillyn Leyds to get more game time.
Jesse Kriel 6/10: The first two times he got the ball he immediately kicked for touch, and both kicks were poor. I don’t understand why he runs diagonally and then it’s not even into space, it’s straight into contact. During one of those diagonal runs he conceded a penalty on the ground for not releasing the ball. Good leg-tackle early on. Clinically finished off the Boks’ first try.
Jan Serfontein 8/10: Properly took charge of the No 12 role. He just got involved in everything. Did well to rip the ball from French hands after they managed to win their lineout in the first quarter. Made strong tackles, and he made a number of them. He got over the gain line every time he carried the ball. Won a turnover. Cleanly claimed the ball when he acted as lineout jumper just before the Eben Etzebeth’s try. One explosive break that was halted by a French ankle tap.
Courtnall Skosan 5/10: Again, he saw very little of the ball to work his attacking magic. His aerial contesting, which saw him neatly catch the ball before being illegally dumped, was good.
Elton Jantjies 6/10: Solid performance from the kicking tee once again and his clearance kicks couldn’t be faulted. He wasn’t as good as he was in Durban, but he did well. Good game management again.
Francois Hougaard 4/10: He struggled, a lot. Characteristically energetic, but also frantic. Won a turnover close to half time. His game-management was nowhere and there a few poor passes by him. Cronje was really missed
Jean-Luc du Preez 5.5/10: Made a few strong, driving-back tackles, but it wasn’t the same Jean-Luc we saw last week (perhaps understandably so as he featured at No 8 this time).
Jaco Kriel 6.5/10: How great was that run in the first quarter where he broke through three tackles to charge his way into opposition 22? He also won a turnover and did well to clean up a messy Bok lineout.
Siya Kolisi 6.5/10: He wasn’t as thrilling at Ellis Park, but he made good tackles again and his work at the breakdowns was tops.
Franco Mostert 7/10: Another top performance. Did well to gather a high ball in the first quarter. Made great tackles and work at the rucks was superb. Conceded one ruck penalty.
Eben Etzebeth 7.5/10: A few powerful runs that saw him drag a few defenders with him before they managed to take him down. Great work to power over for the try after Serfontein’s lineout take.
Ruan Dreyer 5/10: Good work early on to get the ball from to Kriel on his outside to score. Got off to the best-possible scrummaging start when he won a turnover at the first scrum - on debut. But then things took a different turn when as he conceded three penalties at the set-piece later on.
Malcolm Marx 6/10: Seems like I got excited over his lineout throwing too soon - he missed his target twice at his home (although one of those was a clean steal). He was also guilty of a mauling error, and those rampaging runs that we’ve become so used to in such a short period of time weren’t on display. His tackling and general work ethic were good, though. Also scored a try.
Tendai Mtawarira 5/10: Conceded a penalty in the first quarter for a high tackle. Again, next to no ground gained whenever he had the ball and it’s not like he was an absolute star when it came to making tackles.
Must-mention replacement - Steven Kitshoff: 8/10
How is it that this guy hasn’t gotten a Springbok start yet? He was just everywhere. Produced a superb run AND offload in the tackle and followed that up with a huge display of power to get to within inches of the try line.
And that little roll on the ground just before popping the ball to Hougaard was something else.