South Africa overcame a slow start to score a record 63-9 win over Argentina in their Mandela tribute Test in Johannesburg on Saturday. Coming back from being 0-9 down after 30 minutes, the Springboks ran in nine tries – seven in the second half rout.
It was a sluggish start and at first things did not look good for the Boks, but after the second-half rout the Bok ratings look a lot better.
Rugby365 editor Jan de Koning brings you his Springbok player ratings!
15 Conrad Jantjes: Not his best game in Green and Gold. Some good, some bad and still a dangerous man on attack. But he can’t afford this up-and-down effort against the All Blacks next week. 6/10
14 JP Pietersen: He needed a good game to get his confidence back and despite the odd slip, it was that confidence builder he was looking for. Great on attack – that step-’n-go for his try was real class. 7/10
13 Adrian Jacobs: Gave away an early penalty and ran too laterally in the first 30 minutes. But once he settled down and the game opened up he came good. 6/10
12 Jean de Villiers: Like most of the Springboks the early stages of the game he would like to forget, but he provided the spark the Boks needed with a brilliant break for Jacobs’ try – the Boks’ first. Always a danger. 7/10
11 Jongi Nokwe: He finally got the chance to show that he is a real Springbok. Very few chances early on, but his try – in stepping through a few Pumas would-be tacklers – showed he is more than just pure pace. 6/10
10 Butch James: Another player that was looking for a game to boost the confidence and found it in Johannesburg. We forgive him his missed touch finder, because his allround game was solid and his tactical kicking from the top drawer. 7/10
9 Enrico Januarie: Certainly a game he would like to forget – a perfect way of playing yourself out of the team, with several turnovers, poor passing and a knock-on to boot. 2/10
8 Pierre Spies: Quick, strong … just about everything you want in a No.8. His pace in supporting the backs helped set up a try, while he often kept several Puma defenders busy – opening space for other players. 8/10
7 Juan Smith: Better, but still not his best. Lost a ball or two, but made up for it with some great runs and hard work. Looks like his getting back to form. 6/10
6 Luke Watson: Definitely one of his better games in Green and Gold. Lost the ball through some selfish play, but showed some good skills and then that great try-saving tackle. 7/10
5 Victor Matfield (captain): He doesn’t seem to wear the captaincy armband well. His form has showed an alarming dip – his strengths are now his weaknesses. That drop from the first kick-off is symptomatic of his slump in form. He did come more into it as the game opened up and remains a class player, but this was not the greatest game for him. 4/10
4 Bakkies Botha: He seemed to overdo the physical stuff and earned the ire of the match officials. He was also injured – generally a game to forget. 4/10
3 CJ van der Linde: His scrumming, against the highly rated Pumas, was very solid, but the rest of his game needs work. 5/10
2 Bismarck du Plessis: Also a slow start, but worked his way into the game. Won a few good turnovers in the end. 6/10
1 Tendai Mtawarira: The Beast showed he can scrum, although he was not as active in carrying the ball as usual. 6/10
Replacements – 20 minutes or more to be rated:
16 Adriaan Strauss: Came on when Jaque Fourie left the field in the 57th minute and played on the flank. Looked busy, as usual. 6/10
17 Brian Mujati: Came on for CJ van der Linde in the 70th minute. Not long enough to be rated.
18 Andries Bekker: On for Bakkies Botha in the 31st minute. Some impressive tackles and a good run, but seemed too quiet at times. 5/10
19 Joe van Niekerk: On for Juan Smith in the 55th minute. Scored two tries to mark his 50th Springbok cap, a couple of greats runs and impressive allround. 7/10
20 Fourie du Preez: On for Enrico Januarie in the 50th minute. Made an immediate impact, scored with his first touch and the service to Butch James improved. Still South Africa’s best scrumhalf. 7/10
21 Jaque Fourie: On for Jean de Villiers in the 50th minute, but left the field five minutes later with what appeared to be a fractured cheekbone.
22 Percy Montgomery: On for Jongi Nokwe in the 50th minute. Made no mistakes in his 99th Springbok cap and was solid as usual. 6/10Tweet