The Springboks failed to live up to their pre-match billing as they suffered a 0-19 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks in their Tri-Nations clash at Newlands.
The game, which marked Percy Montgomery’s 100th Test cap, turned out to be a nightmare for the Boks as they failed to use their opportunities despite Kiwi flyhalf Dan Carter having an uncharacteristically poor day at the office with the boot.
Phil Coetzer of Rugby 365 does the honours this week and rates the Springbok players’ performances!
15 Percy Montgomery – A reasonable performance in his landmark match, but Monty will probably not remember it too fondly. A few errors in the second half and two poor kicks at goal put an end to Monty’s party. 6/10
14 JP Pietersen – One of the few Bok player to shine on the day. Pietersen’s star is certainly on the rise. He allowed an early high ball to bounce, which is never a good idea, but he raised his game from there and performed admirably. 7/10
13 Adrian Jacobs – Once again he seemed threatening without really punishing the All Blacks. Possibly butchered a try when he chose to go for the line instead of throwing the ball wide. 6/10
12 Jean de Villiers – Always dangerous on attack and posed the Boks’ biggest threat. Broke the line repeatedly but blotted his report card with a suicide pass to Keven Mealamu, although the contest was already lost. 7/10
11 Bryan Habana – The World Cup star is really struggling to find the form of previous seasons. He had few chances, but he seems to be guilty of forcing play at times, and his frustration is reflected in his recent performances. Left the field injured. 5/10
10 Butch James – He struggled to put his stamp on the game, and also made a number of errors when kicking. As always solid on defence though. 5/10
9 Fourie du Preez – Not his greatest game for the Boks unfortunately, and he was also not helped by a few unkind bounces that, like James, took the ball too far and over the dead-ball line. Got increasingly frustrated by the inability of his forwards to recycle the ball at the breakdown. 5/10
8 Pierre Spies – Some really great moments, such as flattening Ma’a Nonu on the charge. Seems to be picking up confidence, but still made a few crucial errors at important times. 7/10
7 Juan Smith – A player that had a profound impact at the World Cup, but had limited effect against the All Blacks. Smith was way too quiet during the match. 5/10
6 Schalk Burger – Always an energetic tackler, Burger sans blonde locks put in yet another good shift on defence. Struggled to get over the advantage line with ball in hand though. 6/10
5 Victor Matfield (captain) – Questions over Matfield’s form and ability as captain will increase after this performance. He’ll always be an ace in the line-outs, but the team never seems inspired under his captaincy. 5/10
4 Andries Bekker – A good home Test from the big lock, he seems destined to become a regular in the Bok team when the Matfield-Botha combination is no more. A very talented player in both the set phases and the in loose. 7/10
3 CJ van der Linde – The Bok scrum did pretty well against their Kiwi counterparts on the day, and the props must take credit. Little else from Van der Linde on the day though. 6/10
2 Bismarck du Plessis – Du Plessis sways from the sublime to the ridiculous in each match, and in open play, refuses to pass the ball before taking contact, which invariably spoils many opportunities for the wings. Lots of promise, but very poor decisions at times. 6/10
1 Tendai Mtawarira – What a player this man promises to be! Fantastic in the loose, stepping and running like a wing. Equally sensational in the scrum, Beast was the catalyst in a much-improved scrumming effort. 8/10
Replacements (20 minutes or more to be rated):
16 Adriaan Strauss – Did not play long enough to be rated.
17 Brian Mujati – Did not play long enough to be rated.
18 Danie Rossouw – Did not play long enough to be rated.
19 Luke Watson (replaced Schalk Burger in the 60th minute) – A few touches for Watson, but nothing match-altering. Went about his business in his usual low-key manner. 6/10
20 Enrico Januarie (replaced Fourie du Preez in the 60th minute) – Looked industrious and purposeful, and seemed keen to kill off memories of last week’s poor performance. Sloppy at times when the team needed a spark of inspiration. 6/10
21 François Steyn (replaced Schalk Burger in the 60th minute) – Failed to make much of an impact after replacing Montgomery in the second half. 5/10
22 Conrad Jantjes (replaced Bryan Habana in the 48th minute) – A few good claims from the high ball, but didn’t have all that much to do on attack. 6/10Tweet