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Springbok ratings: Marvin Orie strong in lineouts, Faf de Klerk’s ill-discipline proves costly

Springboks Faf de Klerk was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul against the Wallabies. Picture: Darren England/EPA

Springboks Faf de Klerk was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul against the Wallabies. Picture: Darren England/EPA

Published Sep 18, 2021


CAPE TOWN - The Springboks were again unable to handle the pace and variety of the Wallabies on attack in the 30-17 Rugby Championship defeat at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday.

ALSO READ: Back to the drawing board as Wallabies out-muscle hapless Springboks

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The South Africans also slipped too many tackles on the night. Here is how we rated the Boks…

Springbok Player Ratings

Willie le Roux: 6

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Was courageous in claiming up-and-unders under pressure, and his positional play in defence was sound. But while Le Roux probed for space and tried to create for his teammates, he sometimes forgets that he can take the gap himself…

Sbu Nkosi: 6

Chased the box-kicks with vigour as usual, and disrupted the Wallaby catchers. But seldom got the ball in space on attack, and was wasted out wide.

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ALSO READ: Springbok kick-chasers v Wallaby blockers: We will keep on fighting and trying to get up in that contest, says Stick

Lukhanyo Am: 6

Made up for last week’s knock-on by scoring a try this time off Faf de Klerk’s grubber. Tried hard to add some variety to the Bok attack, and looked to offload in the tackle. But also battled to keep the Wallaby centres quiet.

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Damian de Allende: 6

Got more involved compared to last Sunday. Carried the ball strongly up the middle, and scrambled well on defence. But wasn’t able to shut down the Wallaby centres on attack.

epa09474458 Makazole Mapimpi (R) of the Springboks in action during the Round 4 Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South Africa Springboks at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, 18 September 2021. EPA/DAN PELED

Makazole Mapimpi: 5

Again cut a frustrated figure out wide. Even though the Boks tried to play a bit more in the wider channels, Mapimpi often got the ball either with a defender right on him, or close to the touchline, which gave him little room to manoeuvre.

ALSO READ: Hooper concerned about wounded Springboks, not making history

Handre Pollard: 5

Regained his goal-kicking form after last week’s nightmare. Tried to bring some width into the Bok attack with a couple of long passes out wide, but did it from too deep and didn’t engage the Wallaby defence enough himself. Missed a couple of tackles, with one leading to the opening try.

Faf de Klerk: 4

Conceded a silly yellow card for tapping the ball out of the Wallaby No 9’s hands. Box-kicks had good height and distance, but took the wrong options too many times on attack. Ill-judged box-kicks inside Wallaby half, and his service from the base was scrappy. A gamble to take tap-penalty and grubber for Lukhanyo Am’s try gives him an extra point.

Duane Vermeulen: 6

Claimed the restarts well with some powerful carries, and was busier than last week in his return from a lengthy injury layoff. But had to go off for a head-injury assessment after a dangerous tackle from Lachlan Swinton, and wasn’t the commanding presence in defence or at the breakdowns that he usually is.

Franco Mostert: 6

Never stopped trying, as he won his lineouts, made his tackles and carried around the fringes. But just not having the same effect as a blindside flank that he does as a No 5 lock or ‘Bomb Squad’ substitute.

Siya Kolisi: 6

Was more prominent with ball-in-hand compared to last week. Brought some good line-speed in defence, but needs to make one or two massive hits to get the Bok pack going. Also has to get more involved in trying to slow down the Wallaby ball at the rucks.

Marvin Orie: 7

Was an excellent source of lineout ball, winning a number of throw-ins cleanly. Was busy in trying to get the maul going, and got stuck in on defence. Couldn’t get across in time on scramble defence to stop the first Wallaby try after Pollard missed a tackle.

ALSO READ: Springboks' lack of style is killing the game, says Clive Woodward

Eben Etzebeth: 5

He is the ultimate strong man of the Bok pack, but was not able to impose himself on the Australian forwards. Contested the Wallaby lineout throws, and made his tackles. Needs to be a more prominent ball-carrier, and stop the opposition’s counter-rucking.

Frans Malherbe: 6

Stood strong in the scrums as usual, and even pulled off some smart passes “out the back” on attack, and made his tackles at close quarters.

Bongi Mbonambi: 7

Found his jumpers every single time, especially Marvin Orie. Managed the ball well when the Boks decided to maul. Seemed to be affected by a few knocks and was treated a few times before being subbed with the rest of the front row early in the second half.

Trevor Nyakane: 6

Had to go off for a head-injury assessment in the first half. Had a tough old battle with Taniela Tupou in the scrums. Carried the ball a few times, but Boks need to use him more often around the fringes.


Malcolm Marx: 6

Found his jumpers, but didn’t add any real oomph to the Bok pack as a ball-carrier or defender, especially at the breakdowns.

Steven Kitshoff: 6

Made an immediate impact in the scrums, winning a penalty in the first half as a temporary replacement for Trevor Nyakane. Carried strongly in the second half.

Vincent Koch: 5

Solid in the scrums, but not much of an impact in other areas.

Marco van Staden: Not enough time to be rated.

Kwagga Smith: 5

Was part of the Bomb Squad injection in the second half, but while busy as a tackler, didn’t make a difference at the breakdown to slow down Wallaby ball.

Jasper Wiese: 4

Replaced Duane Vermeulen, who got a knock to the head, and tried hard to get over the advantage line. But received a yellow card late in the game for dangerous play.

Herschel Jantjies: 5

Should have been brought on much earlier for the error-ridden Faf de Klerk, but only came on in the 63rd minute. Not much of a chance to make a difference.

Damian Willemse: Not used.