Player ratings: Mendoza misery

Sat, 24 Aug 2013 17:07
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Just as they did last year, the Springboks endured a torrid time against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

Just as they did last year, the Springboks endured a torrid time against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

It was déjà vu all over again for the Springboks as they stuttered through 80 minutes against a team with just a handful of changes to the one they beat by 60 points last week.

If they took a leap forward last weekend, they took two steps backs on Saturday, allowing the Pumas to get under their skin and impose their will on them.

In the end they escaped with a 22-17 win, the key difference to last year’s corresponding fixture (which ended in a 16-all stalemate), but it’s ultimately a performance the Springboks will want to forget.  

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.

15 Willie le Roux
Some nice touches on attack but poor under the high ball and continued his habit of kicking out on the full. Looked more comfortable when he moved to the wing.

14 Bjorn Basson

Broke his try-scoring drought but failed to show the hunger to retain his play in the starting line-up. Cost the Springboks three points for being in front of the kicker and missed a tackle.

13 JJ Engelbrecht

Couldn't penetrate the Puma line and made a poor defensive lapse that resulted in his opposite number’s try.

12 Jean de Villiers (captain)

The Springboks’ best and most committed back on the day. Faultless on defence and industrious on attack.

11 Bryan Habana

Didn’t inject himself into the action as he usually does and like his fellow wing, he slipped a tackle.

10 Morné Steyn

Another back guilty of falling off tackles but crucially kicked all his goals which pulled the Springboks through in the end.

9 Ruan Pienaar

Far too slow in clearing from the base. Caught in possession at the ruck which put the Springboks under pressure early on and stuttered on for the full 80 minutes.

8 Duane Vermeulen

The Springboks’ most effective ball carrier. Hit double figures on defence but conceded a couple of penalties.

7 Willem Alberts

Made some big hits to live up to his “Bone Collector” moniker and topped the tackle stats (12) but was far less effective with ball in hand than he was last weekend.  

6 Francois Louw

Did some hard work in holding up the ball in maul situations but overall a disappointing display as Argentina bossed the breakdown.   

5 Juandré Kruger

Solid in the line-out but went missing in general play against the aggressive Argentine forwards.

4 Eben Etzebeth

Very good workrate for such a big unit, making 10 tackles, but even the colossus struggled to get over the advantage line.

3 Jannie du Plessis

Solid as ever at scrum time but a tad slow across the park.

2 Adriaan Strauss

A quiet outing for the usually robust hooker.

1 Tendai Mtawarira

Passed the scrum test against Juan Figallo and was workmanlike on defence.


16 Bismarck du Plessis (on for Strauss, 52nd minute)
Showed his brute strength in the tight loose, where he fronted up better than Strauss in his 50th Test.

17 Gurthrö Steenkamp
(on for Mtawarira, 58th minute)
Committed on defence with some hard hits but again conceded a penalty at scrum time.

18 Coenie Oosthuizen
(on for Du Plessis, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Flip van der Merwe (on for Kruger, 57th minute)
Added grunt to the tight five but missed a couple of tackles.

20 Siya Kolisi (on for Alberts, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Jano Vermaak
Not used.

22 Pat Lambie (on for Basson, 62nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Jan Serfontein (on for Engelbrecht, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.