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Player ratings: Boks shut down

Sat, 23 Jun 2012 18:12
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Michael de Vries rates the South African players
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The Springboks were left frustrated after they were shut down by a determined England team who forced a draw in the final Test in Port Elizabeth.

The Boks were thwarted by a stout defensive effort from the visitors who denied them any momentum and forced them to operate off slow ball.

As a result the hosts lacked fluency on attack, and were let down by crucial errors which let them down at vital stages, but most worryingly they battled to adapt in the face of considerable pressure which will be a concern going forward.

Michael de Vries rates the South African players:

15 Gio Aplon:
An energetic game from the nippy outside back who made some important contributions but battled to find any gaps in the England defensive line. Showed plenty of heart on defence, but lacked conviction under the high ball and did not really make the best use of the space at the back.
6/10

14 JP Pietersen:
Got involved through a few set moves and did well to finish his try by drifting wide, but his judgement let him down at times and he will have to improve his accuracy.
6/10

13 Jean de Villiers:
Made one good midfield break from a bad pass but otherwise had limited opportunities on attack as the Boks continued to play a narrow game. Made his tackles but would want to make more of an impact.
6/10

12 Wynand Olivier:
A neat performance - he tackled hard, ran straight and got over the gainline regularly. Had Tuilagi's number on defence and performed the role asked of him well.
7/10

11 Bryan Habana:
Another hungry performance which saw him work hard off the ball, but did not manage to break England open as he was operating off the back foot often.
6/10

10 Morné Steyn:
A very disappointing performance, he took the ball too deep and made some strange decisions, looking directionless at times, whilst his erratic goal-kicking continues. His tackling has improved but he looks rattled and low on confidence.
3/10

9 François Hougaard:
An inconsistent display, mixing moments of promise with some basic errors. Battled with the slippery ball, and despite his threat as a runner his passing and kicking was simply not accurate enough.
4/10

8 Pierre Spies:
Worked hard but was closed down fairly quickly and never found the space that he thrives on as a ball-carrier. Another impressive showing at the back of the line-out, but he should make more of an impact in open play.
6/10

7 Jacques Potgieter:
Made some big tackles and threw himself into contact a few times, but is prone to losing possession and also went missing at vital stages.
5/10

6 Marcell Coetzee:
A hard-working effort from the young flank who managed to get his team on the front foot a few times and defended bravely, but lacked enough support to really impose himself.
6/10

5 Juandré Kruger:
The Bok line-out was unlocked a little too easily in crucial moments which is something of a concern, but otherwise a solid if low-key display.
6/10

4 Eben Etzebeth:
Carried the ball up repeatedly and did well to steal a line-out ball, but isolated himself at times and his handling also let him down in a patchy performance.
5/10

3 Jannie du Plessis:
Missed a tackle on Danny Care to allow him over for England's only try but was solid up front and provided a good platform in the scrums.
6/10

2 Bismarck du Plessis:
Flew at the opposition in open play and proved a threat at the breakdown, but was not allowed any space to run and battled to find his mark at line-out time.
6/10

1 Tendai Mtawarira:
Put in a strong scrummaging performance, and made some big tackles, but did not get over the gainline as often as he would like in a relatively quiet game.
6/10


Replacements:

16 Adriaan Strauss:
(On for B. Du Plessis, 63 mins)
Added some intent on attack, but was unable to cut loose and make his presence really felt.
6/10

17 Werner Kruger:
(On for J. Du Plessis, 75 mins)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Flip van der Merwe:
(On for Etzebeth, 54 mins)
Added some composure in the second row and slotted in well with the bashing that was taking place but did not make a major impact.
6/10

19 Ryan Kankowski:
(On for Potgieter, 54 mins)
Made an impression with a big hit on Waldrom, and added some urgency on attack, but his enthusiasm also resulted in some basic errors that held the Boks back.
6/10

20 Ruan Pienaar:
(On for Francois Hougaard, 50 mins)
An assured performance which showed the value of his experience, although there were some sloppy moments he kept his composure and created opportunities while his kicking was solid.
7/10

21 Elton Jantjies:
Not used.

22 Bjorn Basson:
Not used.

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