Adam Ashley-Cooper put his body on the line for his country
An injury plague swept through the Wallaby squad and compounded their woes at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The Springboks were full value for their win, but a plethora of injuries certainly didn’t do the visitors any favours.
The survivors will have to raise their game significantly if they are to avoid defeat to the Pumas on home soil next weekend.
Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Wallaby players.
15 Berrick Barnes
Struggled out of position before limping off after an anonymous 30 minutes on the park.
14 Dom Shipperley
Tried his level best to spark something on attack but was well marked by the Boks.
13 Adam Ashley-Cooper
Put his body on the line for his country as he forced Zane Kirchner into touch with sheer heart. With Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane and Barnes all temporarily off the field at different intervals, the value of his versatility shone through. There was also a clever grubber to pin the Boks in their own half.
12 Pat McCabe
A physical force in an otherwise frail Wallaby backline. Bled for the cause, ran hard and straight and made a try-saving tackle on Johan Goosen.
11 Digby Ioane
Another Wallaby that showed guts and determination. Was injured early on but soldiered on at less than 100 percent
10 Kurtley Beale
Perhaps a case of too little too late but Beale certainly grew stronger when the game opened up in the final quarter. It was in the last 20 minutes when Beale showcased his play-making skills and created Mike Harris’ try.
9 Nick Phipps
Made a costly mistake when he knocked on from the ruck five metres from the line when the Wallabies threatened to score just after half-time.
8 Radike Samo
A hard-nosed character who gave as good as he got before succumbing to injury.
7 Michael Hooper
A nuisance for the Boks who played on the edge of the law and often reaped rewards for his willingness to test the referee.
6 Dave Dennis
Ever-present in all departments. The go-to man in the line-out, a strong runner and a workhorse on defence.
5 Nathan Sharpe
Captain courageous absorbed some big hits and got right back up to run at the enemy once more. A truly inspirational effort.
4 Kane Douglas
Outmuscled, outjumped, slipped a tackle and conceded a penalty.
3 Ben Alexander
Felt the heat at scrum time but was a willing ball-carrier.
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
His physical battle with Adriaan Strauss was great to watch. Both were abrasive, had high workrates and were good in the set-piece.
1 Benn Robinson
With just a couple of carries and few tackles, he was exposed by the more industrious forwards in general play.
16 Saia Faingaa (on for Polota-Nau, 71st minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
17 James Slipper (on for Robinson, 30th minute)
His hard work was undone by his yellow card offence.
18 Rob Simmons (on for Douglas, 51st minute)
Strengthened the Wallaby line-out but was suspect on defence.
19 Liam Gill (on for Samo, 52nd minute)
Exuded enthusiasm and breathed some life into the weary Wallaby forwards.
20 Brett Sheehan (on for Ioane, 62nd minute)
21 Mike Harris (on for Ashley-Cooper, 38th minute)
Did a holding job and was on hand to score the visitors’ lone try.
22 Anthony Faingaa (on for McCabe, fifth minute – blood, on for Ioane, 19th minute – blood, on for Barnes, 30th minute)
On again, off again on again. Struggled to get into the game and did little to enhance his chances of earning a starting berth.