• 5/10: Rating the Springboks against All Blacks

    5/10: Rating the Springboks against All Blacks
    Steven Kitshoff

    The Springboks, as a team, rated 5/10 against the All Blacks. The All Blacks rated 8 from 10. The only Bok player to get an eight: Steven Kitshoff, writes Mark Keohane.

    15 – Willie le Roux 7/10: Brilliant when playing first receiver. Vulnerable in the tackle, but strong in his captaincy of the back three.

    14 – Cheslin Kolbe 6/10: Great finish for his try. Good strike on first conversion. Good, but never imposing.

    13 – Lukanyo Am 5/10: His most indifferent performance for the Boks. Neither here or there.

    12 – Damian de Allende 4/10: Short of Test match time and it showed.

    11 – Makazole Mapimpi 3/10: Awful Test. Less talk; more play.

    10 – Damian Willemse 5/10: Powerless behind a pack on the back foot. Still doesn’t look 100% with his knee. His best position is 12 and in this Bok set-up, coming off the bench.

    9 – Faf de Klerk 3/10: Out of sorts, frantic, frenetic and out of control. A night to forget.

    8 –  Jasper Wiese 3/10: Lost the ball in his first run at All Blacks; and it only got worse.

    7 – Franco Mostert 4/10: He is brilliant at lock or coming off the bench. Never in the game as a starting 7.

    6 – Kwagga Smith 5/10: Scored a late try but his value is fresh legs in the final 30. He was lost in first 30, as were all the back five of the forwards pack.

    5 – Lood de Jager 4/10: Poor by his standards. Lack of game time telling. Lack of confidence surprising.

    4. Eben Etzebeth 4/10: By his incredible standards, he was never at the races – and understandably so – he hadn’t played in three months and his father passed away this week. Emotionally drained and physically short of a gallop.

    3 – Frans Malherbe 4/10: Expected more from the rock of the Boks at tighthead. Came second to New Zealand’s young buck Ethan de Groot.

    2 – Bongi Mbonambi 3/10: He has not been good in consistency for the Sharks and was equally poor for the Boks.

    1 – Steven Kitshoff 8/10: Strong in scrum, two turnovers, big in the carry and everywhere when his mates were nowhere. One lazy run to concede a penalty, but the best of the Boks.

    16 – Malcolm Marx 7/10: Immediate impact. Play this guy for 80 minutes. He is the best hooker in the world if he starts.

    17 –  Thomas du Toit 3/10: He just never steps up for the Boks.

    18 – Vincent Koch 4/10: So strong at club level; never as imposing at Test level.

    19 – RG Snyman: 6/10: Made a statement but did it with his team on the back foot. He currently in this squad could prove the difference in the World Cup playing off the bench.

    20 – Pieter Steph du Toit: 7/10: Big presence when he entered the fray. He should have started.

    21 – Duane Vermeulen: 7/10: The veteran is back – and big time. He was massive in Pretoria and influential in Auckland. He has the calm that the Boks need starting at No 8 in RWC play-off matches – and he also has the respect of the opposition.

    22 – Grant Williams: 4/10: He has an explosive presence but must learn when to snipe and when to pass at this level. Clever teams give him the half gap, close him down and force the turnover.

    23 – Manie Libbok: 5/10: He is an exceptional No 10. Limited presence because of match situation. Start him at 10 in build-up to RWC in France.



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    Keo has written about South African and international rugby professionally for the last 25 years