Duane Vermeulen with Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c) and Francois Louw at the Tokyo Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Steve Haag Sports / Hollywoodbets

JOHANNESBURG – The Springboks struggled to get to grips with the Japanese’ fast-paced game in the first half of their quarter-final match in Tokyo yesterday, but their powerful forwards took charge in the second half, laying the foundation for a 26-3 Rugby World Cup win.

They will face Wales in the semi-finals on Sunday.

For me, centre Damian de Allende, stood out and was my Man of the Match. 

Here’s how rugby writer Jacques van der Westhuyzen rated the Boks, out of 10:

Starting XV


Willie le Roux 5: 

Another unconvincing performance by the fullback. He wasn’t confident under the high ball and dropped a simple pass with the Boks strong on the attack.

Cheslin Kolbe 7: 

Made several tackles in a tough first half and was also comfortable under the high ball. Made a few good runs at the opposition.

Lukhanyo Am 6: 

Made most of his tackles, but cost the Boks a possible try with poor offload. Crucially, made an intercept when the Japanese were on the attack.

Damian de Allende 9: 

His best Test for the Boks. Outstanding in every area; he tackled like a machine, carried strongly over the gain-line, made steals on the ground, won turn-overs, cleaned up in defence and was disallowed a try for crawling when another referee might have awarded it.

Makazole Mapimpi 8: 

Excellent Test. Tackled strongly throughout and scored two tries, showing his pace and finishing power. He however gave away a penalty by taking out a player in the air.

Handre Pollard 6: 

Powered through a gap for Mapimpi’s second try, but otherwise a quiet game. Made the odd tackle and kicked most of his penalties, which was crucial.

Faf de Klerk 7: 

Was busy throughout the time he was on the field. Made several tackles, played the blindside for Mapimpi’s first try and kicked averagely. Lost ball once while on the run, but did score a try.

Tendai Mtawarira in the sin-bin at the Tokyo Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Steve Haag Sports / Hollywoodbets


Duane Vermeulen 6: 

Made a few big hits, but not nearly as influential as he normally is. Needs to find his ball-carrying and breakdown skills again.

Pieter-Steph du Toit 6: 

The odd carry, some big tackles and one line-out steal, but otherwise a quiet showing by the flanker.

Siya Kolisi 7: 

He made a number of hits and got himself involved in everything up front, with his biggest contribution the turn-over rip, that led to Mapimpi’s second try.

Lood de Jager 7: 

Carried well on occasion, pushed the Japanese back in the tackle and won all his line-out ball; also made a good steal.

Eben Etzebeth 6: 

Still far off his best. For a man of his size and quality, he’s just not where he should be.

How has the Langebaan incident affected him?

Frans Malherbe 7: 

Got himself involved in a busy first half, tackled well and also carried strongly on occasion. Anchored a dominant Bok scrum.

Bongi Mbonambi 7: 

Hit his target every time at line-out time, and threw himself around the field, making tackles, but he failed to hook a scrum feed which resulted in a lost scrum.

Tendai Mtawarira 3: 

Scrummed well and made a few tackles, but lost the plot with a tip-tackle that should have led to a red card. He was yellow-carded, and may yet be banned.


Most impact: 

Malcolm Marx 8: Excellent impact from the bench, finally. Replaced Mbonambi early on and delivered a good outing. Hit his line-out men, and made good offload for De Klerk’s try. Also tackled well.

Not rated: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Steyn


The Star

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