Home Sport A win, yes – but how did the Boks perform?

A win, yes – but how did the Boks perform?

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Everybody received a pass mark

GOOD VIBRATIONS: Courtnall Skosan scores during Saturday's Rugby Championship game against Argentina in Port Elizabeth. Picture: BackkpagePix

The Springboks got their Rugby Championship campaign off to a winning start on Saturday with a convincing win over Argentina. Mike Greenaway looks at how convincing the players were in this match.

Andries Coetzee (6/10)

The Lions fullback was full of attacking intent, which is always the case with him but he battled to breach the Pumas defence in this game and he was missing in action (out of position) when the Pumas scored their try.

Raymond Rhule (6)

This was probably his best performance for the Boks to date. He showed good finishing skills for his try and was dexterous in his offloading leading up to the Kolisi try. As always, there are questions about his appetite to tackle.

Jesse Kriel (6)

He remains an enigma. He has such great attacking skills and the physique to do the job but seldom makes an impact on attack. He did nothing wrong in this game but you were left wondering when we are going to see Kriel do a Danie Gerber and tear the defence apart.

Jan Serfontein (6)

His passing skills at 12 were at a level you would expect; his defence was superb; but you did not get the feeling that he had not taken his game up a level since his fine performances against the French.

Courtnall Skosan (7)

He scored an excellent try that required the top skills a wing needs – acceleration, stepping and deadly finishing. He looked dangerous most times he received the ball with his willingness to step and manufacture a break.

Elton Jantjies (7)

He regained his composure regarding his goal-kicking and scored 15 valuable points. Compared to this time last year he is a different player. He showed great skill in creating the Skosaan try.

Ross Cronjé (5)

His distribution was very good but he personally seldom asked questions of the defence. You wonder if the rib injury he was carrying last week influenced his limited approach to this match. He passed left and right and that was about it. He was not his normal self.

Uzair Cassiem (5)

I am not convinced he is a No 8 in that he does not play the linking game between forwards and backs. He seems a blindside flank to me. His ball carries were strong and plentiful. He got stuck in. His line-out play was erratic although at times very good. But is he a No 8?

Jaco Kriel (8)

His insatiable hunger to produce made him the heart beat of the Lions team, and he was at it again for the Boks. His enthusiasm influences his teammates, and he repeatedly led the charge to the breakdowns and rucks.

Siya Kolisi (7)

This was a difficult game for a player whose skill set suits a fluid game that brings him into the game and allows him to exploit his natural attributes. But he stuck to the task and had a greater influence in the second half. His try was very well taken.

Franco Mostert (7)

He was the workhorse of the Lions in Super Rugby and no different against the Pumas. His work rate is second to none but he battled to make an impact with ball in hand. His defence was immense. A great team man.

Eben Etzebeth (7)

He led from the front, especially on defence. He never took a step backward and while no doubt goaded by the Pumas, his discipline was very good. The Pumas had planned to unsettle the new Bok captain but he rolled with the punches, so to speak.

Coenie Oosthuizen (8)

What a day for the former Free Stater. It was Heyneke Meyer who three years ago tried to turn Oosthuizen into a tighthead, given the proliferation of looseheads in the country. Against the Pumas, Coenie showed that he has arrived as a tighthead on the international stage.

Malcolm Marx (7)

He had a much proved day in his lineout delivery, an occasional Achilles Heel for him. He was formidable in the drive and his upper body strength came into play when he pulled off some crucial turnovers at the rucks.

Tendai Mtawarira (5)

There is no way The Beast should have started a Test match having just recovered from a neck injury that had kept him out of six weeks of Super Rugby for the Sharks. He scrummed well but was nowhere near his best in general play. This was a poor selection of a proud player.

REPLACEMENTS

Steven Kitshoff (8)

While every player wants to start, Kitshoff is making it a trend that he wallops the opposition off the bench in the set pieces. Made a big impact.

Pieter-Steph du Toit (8)

He played like a player that knows he must pull finger if he wants to continue to be a Springbok. He was poor against France. He was very good against the Pumas, showing a much improved work ethic that culminated in a try.

Jean-Luc du Preez (7)

The muscular flank made a typically muscular impact in the last 20 minutes. He could easily have started this game, and he might well get the nod for bruising battles against the likes of the All Blacks.

Francois Hougaard (6)

He did his best to pick up the pace at scrumhalf and imposed his individual character on the game. He will be pleased with his impact in replacing a wounded Cronje.

Curwin Bosch, Damian de Allende, Trevor Nyakane: Not on the field long enough to be assessed.