Home Sport PLAYER RATINGS: Springboks did well all round as they dismantled Aussies

PLAYER RATINGS: Springboks did well all round as they dismantled Aussies

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Leighton Koopman rates how each Springbok performed in Saturday’s Rugby Championship take down of Eddie Jones’ Australia.

Duane Vermeulen of South Africa goes into a tackle with Michael Hooper of Australia during their Rugby Championship match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday
Duane Vermeulen of South Africa goes into a tackle with Michael Hooper of Australia during their Rugby Championship match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. Picture: Gavin Barker, BackpagePix

Pretoria — The Springboks started their Rugby Championship campaign with a convincing 43-12 over Australia in Pretoria on Saturday.

They built a good foundation in the first half, and shut the Aussies out in the second forty. Here Leighton Koopman rates the players’ performance in the first Test of 2023.

15. Willie le Roux (8): Two good plays early on by Le Roux and a solid tackle to halt an attack. His interchanging between fullback and flyhalf was spot on and caused Australia problems on the attack.

14: Canan Moodie (8): Excellent sway of hips in a small space to beat Marika Koroibete on the right touchline as he sprinted down. Solid in the air under the high balls.

13: Lukhanyo Am (7): Good fight in the build-up to Arendse’s try. He did some spectacular Am things but made a few errors too.

12: Andre Esterhuizen (8.5): Good start to his comeback test. He ran the ball hard at Quade Cooper’s channel, put in some massive hits, and played out of his skin.

11: Kurt-Lee Arendse (9): Magical scoring three tries. Great support run on the blindside move for his second. He beat a couple of defenders and copped a shot to the head as he dotted down the third.

10: Manie Libbok (8): Ran the show in the Boks backline. Shows the world’s calmness with the ball in hand, even on his try line. Got his backs into space and was calm under pressure with kicks at goal.

9: Cobus Reinach (7): First kick charged down and had a fair few shoddy box kicks. But his ball distribution on the attack was sublime and bullet-like when he sent it down the backline.

8: Duane Vermeulen (9): Led from the front and played like a 27-year-old. He was massive on defence and took the Wallaby defenders head on when running with the ball.

7: Pieter-Steph du Toit (8.5): A workhorse-like performance by the flanker who later had to switch to lock but continued working. Scored a well-deserved try after being prominent in the build-up to it.

6: Marco van Staden (7): First big tackle of the game on Rob, and first steal by the flanker as he won a penalty on the ground. Worked tirelessly in stopping the Wallaby runners and carrying the ball up.

5: Marvin Orie (7): Was a prominent link between the backline and rucks. Shelled the ball quickly to the waiting backline. Ran the lineouts and worked hard on defence.

4: Jean Kleyn (7): Robust on defence and helped keep the Wallabies’ big runners at bay on debut. He will be happy with his first game in a Bok jersey.

3: Frans Malherbe (6): Scrummed strongly and put in some good hits when the Boks were on defence. Could’ve gotten more reward in the scrum.

2. Bongi Mbonambi (6): Few missed lineouts that cost the Boks. But as always put in a bulldog performance and were constantly in the face of the Wallabies.

1: Steven Kitshoff (7): Solid scrumming from the Springbok loose head. He also put in some massive hits. Excellent in the tight and won turnover possession at the breakdown.

Replacements: Joseph Dweba (6): Some great lineout throws that set the Boks’ rolling maul in motion. Thomas du Toit (6): Strengthened the Bok scrum when he was replaced alongside his replacement front row. Vincent Koch (6): Helped the Springboks to win some scrum penalties when the regular front row was replaced. RG Snyman (6): Ranked tallest in the first lineout to win possession and had a good offload. Evan Roos (6): His cameo off the bench included some strong carries and solid tackles. Deon Fourie (6): Broke the line like a true winger and was busy when he took to the field. Grant Williams (7): He picked up the pace when he came on and deserves a start soon. Damian Willemse (6): Made a solid hit late in the game and a had a good run down the left touchline.

@Leighton_K

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