Player ratings: Johnny-come-lately

Sat, 21 Jun 2014 15:33

South Africa used their get-out-of-jail-free cards for the year, all in one game.

Their one-point (31-30) win over Wales in Nelspruit on Saturday showed both what is good and bad about Springbok rugby.

The first half was bad, very bad, ugly, very ugly, and a comedy of errors.

The last 10 minutes were PURE BOK! Those two tries, 14 points, is what salvaged the Boks' unbeaten home record against Wales.

Jan de Koning rates the South African players!

15 Willie le Roux:
Like most of his teammates was somewhat error-prone before the break, but then showed his class with ball in hand - including a crucial try inside the final 10 minutes.

14 Cornal Hendricks:
The rookie wing looked threatening with ball in hand, including a sublime break late in the game that set up Willie le Roux's try and another brilliant run that resulted in the match-winning  penalty try.

13 JP Pietersen:
Some early handling errors, but once he settled made all but one of his tackles and also had some handy runs.

12 Jan Serfontein:
Was rock solid on defence, missing just one tackle, and got over the advantage line a few times.

11 Bryan Habana:
Looked for work and won a crucial turnover penalty early in the second half, while he had a couple of promising runs.

10 Morné Steyn:
His game was littered with errors, but on defence he stood his ground and came into his own late in the game.

9 Fourie du Preez:
He struggled behind a pack of forwards that was unusually sloppy and only looked at ease once the game opened up late in the second half.

8 Duane Vermeulen:
Early mistake, when the sun appeared to be in his eyes, then missed a tackle and struggled to make ground with ball in hand. Also stood off the scrums far too early. But on defence he was a monster.

7 Willem Alberts:
Made nine tackles in his 20-odd minutes on the field and missed one.

6 Francois Louw:
He was one of the more accurate Boks, made his tackles (which went into double figures) and carried hard - with little reward.

5 Victor Matfield (captain):
Made his tackles and was dominant in the line-outs, including his customary poach.

4 Flip van der Merwe:
His eagerness cost his team at times, as he conceded a couple of penalties and was yellow carded in the second half. Continued working hard.

3 Jannie du Plessis:
His scrumming power was very evident in this game, even though he was handed two questionable penalties. Was very effective on defence.

2 Bismarck du Plessis:
Crucial turnover early in the match, but his line-out throwing not always accurate and he missed a few tackles.

1 Tendai Mtawarira:
Powerful in the scrums and made a mountain of tackles. Didn't make much ground with ball in hand.


16 Schalk Brits (on for BW du Plessis, 65th min):
Had one decent run, but then knocked the ball on. Made all his tackles.

17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (on for Mtawarira, 65th min):
Monstered the scrums after he came on, but could work harder off the ball.

18 Coenie Oosthuizen (on for JN du Plessis, 58th min):
Made all his tackles, but made no ground with ball in hand.

19 Lodewyk de Jager (on for van der Merwe, 45th minute - blood):
Not enough time to be rated.

20 Schalk Burger (on for Alberts, 24th min):
His workrate, energy and physical presence had a huge impact on the game.

21 Ruan Pienaar (on for Steyn, 23rd min - blood):
Not enough time to be rated.

22 Wynand Olivier (on for Serfontein , 74th min):
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Lwazi Mvovo:
Not used