Bit of a tricky game to rate, this, as again the Sharks scored a big victory over a top side without ever really clicking on attack.
That said, given the disruptions they have to overcome during the week, as well as strong provocation during the game, this was a superb performance from the team – perhaps their best of the year – and worthy of a team rating of a bit over 8/10. Let’s look at the individuals.
1) Beast Mtawarira. A very good game from the loosehead, who scrummed well and was active on the carry. 8/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. The captain was back with a bang this week and led from the front. He was a menace at the breakdown while his personal standard of discipline was exemplary. 9/10
3) Jannie du Plessis. Probably his best game of the season so far. Stood like a rock at scrum time and was pretty busy and effective otherwise. 8/10
4) Willem Alberts. A good showing at lock. Took some lineout ball and was huge on defence; loses a point due to a few unfortunate fumbles. 8/10
5) Stephan Lewies. For a man coming into this game under a bit of pressure, he stood up and delivered a frankly massive performance. A real hero in the making is this kid. 8/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. Masterful showing from the opensider, who was simply everywhere on the day. 9/10
7) Jean Deysel. Stepped up and delivered the goods in his start of the year. Big on defence and proved a handful for the Tahs when he had the ball. 8/10
8) Ryan Kankowsi. Great lineout work and controlled well at the base of the scrum. Still looking for his “mojo” as a ball carrier this season. 7/10
9) Charl McLeod. One or two early fumbles robbed his team of momentum, but once he got his head into the game he performed very well. 7/10
10) Fred Zeilinga. Looked the part in his first start at this level. Could perhaps have asked for a little more length on some of his kicks, but otherwise, a superb performance. 8/10
11) JP Pietersen. A little quiet on attack this week (it’s been a while since he played on the left) but played his part in a massively important rush defense showing from the back three. 7/10
12) Frans Steyn. Another very good display, with Steyn making up for a few poor tackle attempts with a huge work rate for bulk of the game. 8/10
13) S’bura Sithole. Continues to grow in confidence. Was defensively the best player on the field and always looked to do what he could with the little ball that came his way. 8/10
14) Odwa Ndungane. Single-handedly shut down at least two Waratahs moves that would have been tries if not for him. Loses a point for a few too many silly knocks, though. 7/10
15) Lwazi Mvovo. Not a bad showing at fullback, by any means, but I am still to be convinced that this is going to be his best position going forward. 7/10
16) Kyle Cooper. Not on long enough to rate, but looked superb in his 7 minutes all the same.
17) Dale Chadwick. Another fabulous late-game scrumming performance. 7/10
18) Lourens Adriaanse. Came on at a time when you felt the Tahs were coming back into the scrum contest and nipped that resurgence right in the bud. 7/10
19) Etienne Oosthuizen. Not on long enough to rate.
20) Keegan Daniel. Took a while to get going, then scored a try that no other player could score because he’s just THAT much more aware of what’s going on. 7/10
21) Stefan Ungerer. Not on long enough to rate.
22) Heimar Williams. Not on long enough to rate.
23) SP Marais. Not on long enough to rate.