The Boks finally bounced back with a great win against the woeful Aussies. Let’s see how they fared…
1) Beast Mtawarira. Stood his ground well at scrum time, while also tackling and rucking effectively. One or two nice ball carries, but can still improve further in this area. 7/10
2) Adriaan Strauss. Great execution of the basics, with some good moments with ball in hand too. 7/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Anchored the scrum well and was generally very effective elsewhere. Showed nice hands on a few occasions too and managed to keep his discipline in check. 7/10
4) Eben Etzebeth. Bounced back in the best possible way after Perth and used his bulk and height to great effect. Several crucial lineout steals at the front of the set piece, as well as a number of great carries and bone-crunching clean-outs. 8/10
5) Andries Bekker. Played well over-all, but still has an annoying tendency to pop up in the back-line and die with the ball when he should be passing. Superb lineout work, as you would expect of a man with his height. 6/10
6) Francois Louw. Almost the perfect game from the versatile flanker, who combined superb pilfering (and interfering) skills on the deck with sublime running at times. How good was that pass to set up Habana’s last try? 9/10
7) Willem Alberts. Huge on defence and played the roll of the work horse in the loose trio, allowing the other two to shine with the ball. 7/10
8) Duane Vermeulen. A great game from a player who is rapidly finding his feet at this level and looking like he truly belongs. Involved in everything and added massive impact to every situation. 8/10
9) Ruan Pienaar. Goal-kicking wobbles aside, it was a fine performance from Pienaar, whose options were very good and played well to take pressure off his young flyhalf. 8/10
10) Johan Goosen. A very encouraging first start, apart from the goal-kicking. Has a troubling tendency to stand very deep on attack, which stymies his backline’s options, but showed on the few occasions that he did come up flatter that he has an impressive bag of tricks at his disposal. A lovely line-break and a few pin-point attacking passes will have the fans gushing. 7/10
11) Francois Hougaard. I saw nothing from him other than a missed tackle which led to the only Aussie try. 5/10
12) Jean de Villiers. A good outing from the captain, who enjoyed the surfeit of quality ball and made more metres with ball in hand than we’ve seen for a long time. Good decisions too, for the most part. 7/10
13) Jaco Taute. A solid debut, if you ignore one or two early handling wobbles. Very strong on defence and had a few decent runs, although found space to be a rather precious commodity in his first outing at this level. 7/10
14) Bryan Habana. Showed his class in everything he did. How can you argue with three tries in a fine all-round showing? The Boks’ most dangerous attacking weapon is back on song… and that song should be noting other than “Gee die bal vir Bryan”! 9/10
15) Zane Kirchner. All the nonsense about the “brilliant game” that he had aside, I honestly didn’t see Kirchner do all that much that you wouldn’t expect from any competent fullback at this level. Scored a nice try, yes, but was guilty losing the ball in contact a bit too easily for my liking. 6/10
16) Tiaan Liebenberg. Not enough minutes for Winnie the Pooh to get a rating.
17) Pat Cilliers. Not on long enough.
18) Flip van der Merwe. A pretty impressive showing from Flip, who got properly stuck in all over the park. 7/10
19) Marcell Coetzee. Showed great awareness and commitment to pounce on a loose ball and save a certain try within 30 seconds of getting onto the field. Tackled like a trojan thereafter, but had little opportunity with ball in hand. 7/10
20) Elton Jantjies. Not long enough to be rated. Deserved more time.
21) Juan de Jongh. Not long enough to be rated.
22) Pat Lambie. Two great touch finders, but otherwise had little to do. Looked a little rusty, which is not all that surprising, really… 6/10