Player ratings: Bok backlash

Sat, 22 Jun 2013 15:15
Large francoislouwsamoa Large bryan haban 50th try Large jjengelbrechtboktry Large sa v samoa Large ebenetzebethsamoa Large mornesteynsamoatry Large bjornbassonsamoatry Large tendaimtawarirasamoa Large willielerouxsamoa

The Springboks outclassed Samoa in all departments in their eight-try triumph at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

The Springboks outclassed Samoa in all departments in their eight-try triumph at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Few expected the Springboks to put 50 points past a Samoan side ranked seventh on the IRB World Rankings after last weekend’s stuttering win over Scotland.  

The 56-23 victory was a vast improvement in terms of intensity, accuracy and approach to the breakdown and was an ideal way to finish the four-nation tournament.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.

15 Willie le Roux
A shaky start but came into his own once he evaded the big Alesana Tuilagi and put Bryan Habana in for the opening try. His distribution at first receiver and out wide brought an extra dimension to the Springbok attack. 

14 Bryan Habana

His workrate and kick-chase was impeccable. Bjorn Basson is more renowned for his ability in the air but it was Habana who created a try through his contesting of a high ball. A bit of ‘tunnel vision’ it must be said in his pursuit of his milestone 50th Test try.   

13 JJ Engelbrecht

Showed great acceleration off the mark as well as pace and good footwork to break the tackle and step James So'oialo for his try. Also strong on defence, his hit on opposite number Paul Williams inside the Springbok 22 an individual highlight.

12 Jean de Villiers (captain)

A courageous performance by the Springbok skipper given the concerns over his fitness. Ironically, his bruised sterno-clavicular joint was a blessing in disguise as it saw him distribute more and cut down on his route one crash balls.

11 Bjorn Basson

Like Habana, his kick-chase work was good, his defence - a previous weakness of his game - was sound and he crossed the whitewash.

10 Morné Steyn

Seems inspired by Le Roux’s inclusion in the side as he got the backline firing as he has done in the two previous Tests. Also showed marked improvement on defence, making a try-saving tackle, and scored a try. His goal-kicking was average but it was a non-issue in the context of the game.

9 Ruan Pienaar

An all-round improvement on last weekend. His best contributions were on defence, where he slipped a few but made two try-saving tackles. He was quicker to the breakdown and his box kicking was more accurate. Could still offer more on attack.

8 Pierre Spies

An awful mistake at the back of the defensive five-metre scrum that almost resulted in a try and failed to get over the advantage line. A cringe worthy performance.    

7 Willem Alberts

What a difference he made not only to the loose trio but the team as a whole. His uncanny ability to crash over the gainline is invaluable and a big reason behind the backline’s enterprising play. Similarly, his bone crunching hits and unrivalled workrate (15 tackles) on defence inspired his teammates.

6 Francois Louw

As impressive a return as you get. He was simply sublime in all aspects; scoring a brace, breaking the line, beating defenders, offloading, contesting the breakdown and defending well.   

5 Flip van der Merwe

Stepped up to the line-out managing role successfully and added grunt to the second row. Overall, however, he blew hot and cold. Summed up play well to spread the ball leading up to Basson’s try but did not do the same when he spilled the ball after taking contact with numbers on his outside. Missed three tackles and conceded three penalties.   

4 Eben Etzebeth

A year ago he would have been coaxed into conceding a yellow card. He has grown immensely at Test level and showed that maturity against a team with ulterior motives. Solid on defence and in the set-pieces and offered great support play to drive Louw over for his second try.

3 Jannie du Plessis

The veteran warhorse maintained a high workrate, making seven tackles in addition to his strong scrummaging.  

2 Adriaan Strauss

A solid showing driven by commitment. Exemplary set-piece play (the Boks wining all 18 of their line-outs). Unfortunate victim of a despicable act of foul play

1 Tendai Mtawarira

A satisfactory display by “The Beast”. Mobile across the park and good in the set pieces.  


16 Bismarck du Plessis
(on for Strauss, 59th minute)
Continued the Springboks’ set-piece dominance and played an important leadership role.

17 Trevor Nyakane
(on for Du Plessis, 66th minute)
Grabbed a maiden Test try that he celebrated in style but not enough time to be rated.

18 Coenie Oosthuizen (on for Mtawarira, 56th minute)
Another player - like Etzebeth - who has come a long way in terms of composure and put in some hard hits.

19 Juandré Kruger (on for Koliski, 47th minute; on for Van der Merwe, 71st minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Siya Kolisi (on for Spies, 40th minute)
Made a significant impact with his speed and intensity.  

21 Piet van Zyl
(on for Pienaar, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Pat Lambie (on for Steyn, 64th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Jan Serfontein (on for De Villiers, 71st minute)
Not enough time to be rated.