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Player ratings: Boks show backbone

Sat, 29 Sep 2012 11:22
Bryanhabanawallabiestry Francoislouwwallabies Ruanpienaarwallabies
A brilliant, lively performance by the hat-trick hero
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The core group of senior Springboks stood up at Loftus Versfeld to guide the hosts to a much-needed win over the Wallabies on Saturday.

Lacking leadership prior to the weekend’s clash, captain Jean de Villiers and veterans Ruan Pienaar and Bryan Habana came to the fore and inspired the inexperienced players.

They led by example and should get much of the credit for what was a comfortable win.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.

15 Zane Kirchner
Knew when to join the line and rounded off well to score the opening try. Almost scored a second and did little wrong.  
7/10

14 Bryan Habana

A brilliant, lively performance by the hat-trick hero. He truly led by example and popped up absolutely everywhere.  He made the right decision to spread the ball wide for Kirchner to score and broke another in a list of individual records with his three touchdowns.      
9/10

13 Jaco Taute

The debutant’s hands were a bit shaky and as a result he made a couple of handling errors and wasn’t his dangerous self on attack. On defence, however, he couldn’t be faulted.     
7/10

12 Jean de Villiers

He made a couple of inspired decisions as skipper that bolstered the team’s fortunes greater than his strong running and defending in midfield did. There was the decision to take the pressure off Johan Goosen with a change of goal-kicker and turning down kickable penalties that saw the Boks claim the first four-try bonus point of the Rugby Championship.    
7.5/10

11 Francois Hougaard

Needed to inject himself into the game and slipped the tackle on Kurtley Beale that led to Mike Harris’ try.  
6/10

10 Johan Goosen

A shaky run-on debut as far as goal-kicking was concerned but he showed character not to let the two early misses effect his overall performance. Yes his goal-kicking was disappointing, but his attacking game was promising. He played flat, made a scintillating break and got the backline firing with his accurate distribution.
7/10

9 Ruan Pienaar

The way in which he stood up as a senior player and took the pressure off the younger backs superseded his primary scrumhalves responsibilities, which he also executed well.
8/10

8 Duane Vermeulen

He’s really coming into his own on the international stage and was particularly influential at the breakdown, where he won a couple of turnovers, and on defence.
8/10

7 Willem Alberts

A juggernaut with ball in hand and on defence. His workrate and intensity on defence should not be underestimated. He’s taken on the enforcer role and smashed back many a Wallaby ball-carrier with his aggressive tackling.         
8/10

6 Francois Louw

Perhaps didn’t make the most of the opportunity in Dunedin but boy did he shine at Loftus! He was equally brilliant at the breakdown and as a link between forwards and backs and had a hand in two of the Boks’ try, the latter an excellent long ball that put Habana in for his third.  
9/10

5 Andries Bekker
He wanted to prove a point and he did with seven takes, 10 tackles and offloads backline players would be proud of. Mendoza was but a distant memory – Bekker is back!
8.5/10

4 Eben Etzebeth

Like a caged animal, Etzebeth channelled and unleashed his power after serving his suspension and rag-dolled Wallaby captain Nathan Sharpe when the two behemoths collided. It wasn’t all brute force from the youngster as he also managed a couple of steals against the throw.   
8/10

3 Jannie du Plessis

Showed some good ball skills for a big man as his offload from the deck contributed to one of Habana’s tries.     
7/10

2 Adriaan Strauss

An unsung hero, he was prominent with ball in hand, hard-as-nails and sublime at the set-piece. A truly accomplished performance by a class act.
8/10

1 Tendai Mtawarira

Fronted up at scrum time but his real value was on defence, where he made eight tackles.   
7/10

Replacements:

16 Tiaan Liebenberg
(on for Strauss, 75th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Pat Cilliers (on for Du Plessis, 70th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Flip van der Merwe (on for Etzebeth, 58th minute)
A solid cameo, especially on defence.
7/10

19 Marcell Coetzee (on for Alberts, 58th minute)
Acted quickly to pounce on a loose ball and save a possible try in his first act from the bench and injected power and pace into the game.
7/10

20 Elton Jantjies (on for Goosen, 75th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.  

21 Juan de Jongh (on for Taute, 75th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Pat Lambie (on for Kirchner,54th minute)
Relished some game time but had little attacking opportunities. He was composed at the back and got good distance with his defensive clearing kicks.  
7/10

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