Wales

Player ratings: Brutal Boks

Sat, 09 Nov 2013 17:03
Fouriedupreezwales Jeandevillierswales Bryanhabanawales Wales-v-sa Duanevermeulenwales
Du Preez's tactical acumen was invaluable
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The Springboks steamrolled Wales en route to a 24-15 win in Cardiff on Saturday as they reverted to their power-driven approach.

The opening quarter saw some scintillating and clinical play by the visitors but they lost their way when Morné Steyn departed through injury in the 18th minute.

With Steyn off, the Springboks’ lacked the accuracy their strategy demanded and therefore relied on brute strength and physicality to grind out a victory over the Six Nations champions.

While Steyn’s injury - and Pat Lambie’s poor performance after shifting from No.15 to flyhalf - will be causes of concern, the performances of the likes of Fourie du Preez, Jean de Villiers, Willem Alberts and debutant Frans Malherbe were all positives for South Africa to take out of the game.    

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.

15 Pat Lambie
Faultless during his time at fullback, which saw him make an excellent early tackle on Jonathan Davies. At flyhalf, however, he bombed, with the Springboks losing their way after the injury to Steyn. His game-management was nonexistent, his decision-making average and his execution poor.
5/10

14 JP Pietersen

His workrate was disappointing and he didn’t exude the hunger of a player making his first Test appearance of the year. Got just the one decent attacking opportunity but was rock solid on defence.
6.5/10

13 Jaque Fourie

A bit off the pace after two years in the international wilderness, as highlighted by the number of midfield misunderstandings between him and his old centre partner on defence.
6/10

12 Jean de Villiers (captain)

The Springboks’ most effective running back over the 80 minutes. Although he didn’t smash holes in the Welsh defence, he certainly dented it, consistently took his team over the gainline and scored a good try.
7.5/10

11 Bryan Habana

Great footwork with ball in hand, exceptional on the counter-attack, and scrambled well on defence to help the Boks out of sticky situations.
7.5/10

10 Morné Steyn

Not enough time to be rated.

9 Fourie du Preez
Very influential in the second half after a pretty quiet first 40. His tactical acumen was invaluable in Steyn’s absence and he showed his renowned vision to identify and kick into space to create his try. Great on the sweep and worked a good early penalty on defence.
8/10

8 Duane Vermeulen

The Springboks’ go-to ball carrier on the evening made some hard yards, tackled well and managed a line-out steal but was on the wrong side of the ref’s whistle too often.
7/10

7 Willem Alberts

A physical force of nature on attack and defence. However, most impressive was his workrate for such a behemoth, making 14 tackles and stealing a line-out in the first half alone.
8/10

6 Francois Louw

Had a back and forth battle with Sam Warburton at the breakdown and did great work on defence. The lasting memory of his performance, though, will be his sin-binning after he uncharacteristically lost his cool.
6.5/10

5 Flip van der Merwe

Noticeably improved workrate, even winning a turnover on the deck, managed the line-out well and made his presence felt in the tight loose.
7.5/10

4 Eben Etzebeth

Satisfactory but not on par with the lofty standard of his play throughout the year.
7/10

3 Frans Malherbe

Solid debut. Stood up well in the scrums, which was always going to be his primary objective. His touted defence, however, was absent, as the rookie missed several hits.   
7/10

2 Bismarck du Plessis

Once again his efficiency in all departments stood out; running hard, offloading to put De Villiers in for a try, using his brute upper body strength at the tackle and maul situations, losing just one line-out on his throw and going over for a try.
7.5/10

1 Tendai Mtawarira

Not his best outing, conceding two penalties and proving ineffective as a ball carrier.
6/10

Replacements:

16 Adriaan Strauss
(on for Du Plessis, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (on for Mtawarira, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

18 Coenie Oosthuizen (on for Malherbe, 55th minute)
Very unlucky to be immediately yellow carded. Not enough time to be rated.

19 Pieter-Steph du Toit (on for Etzebeth, 68th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Siya Kolisi (on for Alberts, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

21 Ruan Pienaar (on for Du Preez, 77th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

22 JJ Engelbrecht (on for Pietersen, 71st minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Willie le Roux (on for Steyn, 18th minute)
Clearly played according to subdued instructions and did so with good effect. Also made a try-saving tackle on Scott Williams.
7/10

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