Cheslin Kolbe 9/10: What more can be said about his performance? Big, well-timed tackle on Clayton Blommetjies in the first half that drove him into touch. But the tackle of the day was of course his one on Henco Venter after chasing him down from inside his own half and stopping a certain try.
Another big, ball-dislodging tackle on Fred Zeilinga in the second half. Poor pass to EW Viljoen after an equally poor one by Sikhumbuzo Notshe. Fantastic step and break early on before offloading to Notshe. Closed down Blommetjies’ space well throughout the game. Good offload to Viljoen in the last few minutes. He definitely deserves credit for his huge effort.
EW Viljoen 8/10: He was again big on defence, but his most impressive contribution was the beautiful offloads he produced throughout the game. That offload around-the-defender to Marais was magic. And that over-the-head offload to Nizaam Carr ... oh my. He also carried the ball well.
Dan du Plessis 7.5/10: He got stuck in there again and made a number of solid tackles. Lovely hipswing pass in the build-up to one of Notshe’s tries. Nicely finished off a good attacking move with a try.
Dillyn Leyds 7.5/10: Showed his pace when he sprinted down touch for his first try, just in case you forgot how quick he is. Made a few exciting, good runs and looked to create something whenever he got the ball.
Robert du Preez 7.5/10: Assisted Kolbe well to take Blommetjies into touch early on. Nicely snatched up a loose ball and made a few good metres after Oupa Mohoje knocked the ball on after the second half restart kick. Showed some individual brilliance when he chased down his own chip to score in the third quarter. Missed a few kicks at goal.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe 8/10: Made a few great runs. Nice basketball pass to Leyds in the first half. Made good tackles and that one-hand carry is always good to see. Poor pass to Kolbe just before he lost his footing after a lineout early in the first half. Oh, and he scored a hat-trick - well done! No wonder he blew kisses to the crowd.
Siya Kolisi 9/10: Made big tackles and worked hard around the park. Good work at the breakdowns. Quickly made the clean before Leyds’ first try, that’s where it all started. Made a big tackle on Lee, got back up on his feet and snatched the ball up before nicely passing it to Notshe. Good little inside step at close quarters to go over for his try. That offload to Notshe for his last try deserves a standing ovation.
Cobus Wiese 7.5/10: Big starting debut. He was always close to the action and beautifully scooped up a loose ball before offloading to Kolbe in the build-up to Leyds’ first try.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 7.5/10: Fumbled a high ball in the first quarter. Late tackle, or push, on Shaun Venter just before half time. Stole a lineout ball in the third quarter. Good contribution otherwise.
Eben Etzebeth 8.5/10: Penalised for being offside in the first quarter. Made massive carries and it took a mini gang of Cheetahs to take him down every single time. Made huge, driving-back tackles. Also pouched a Cheetahs lineout ball. Big, big game by the big man.
Frans Malherbe 7/10: Nice offload off the ground to Vermaak early in the game. Made some big, important tackles and looked solid in the scrums.
Bongi Mbonambi 8.5/10: Superb offload early in the game. He ran hard and gained some good ground. He was massive on defence. Francois Venter and Nico Lee are probably still walking back from those tackles by Bongi that drove them so far back. Very good game.
JC Janse van Rensburg 7/10: Offside in the first half. Made strong tackles. Just remember to bring Pieter-Steph down safely when he collects the ball after the restart next time, JC.
Dewaldt Duvenage (on for Vermaak in the 14th minute) 7.5/10: Kicked the ball right into a defender before half time. Nice, slick stepping past two defenders before giving a fine pass to Viljoen just before half time. Made his tackles and got involved wherever he could. Kicked away possession once or twice.