Richard Ferguson

Springboks v Ireland: Player Ratings

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks on 8 Nov 2010 at 11:28
Tagged with : , ,

After an impressive win over the Irish on Saturday, we can look back with smiles on our faces and rate each of the players on the park. These ratings are only an opinion, so feel free to have your say.

Gio Aplon
Playing a wing at fullback seemed a strange option, but he was good under the high ball. He does need to work on his clearance kicks though. Scored a good try to cap a good game – 7/10

Bjorn Basson
You have to feel for the wings in these games, they were out there and hardly got any ball. Hopefully he will get another run – 6/10

Zane Kirchner
THE selection conundrum of the game! That said, he did well to play out of position, and was defensively good. Good vision to send Aplon through on the inside to score that try. He did fumble an important ball to give the Irish a run at the line, but otherwise a solid performance – 6/10

Jean de Villiers
One gets the feeling he covered for Kirchner a bit on the day, but good on him to be a team player. Had a good few crash balls and was good on defence. Not bad for a not fully fit player – 7/10

Bryan Habana
Seems to me he is getting some of his old form back. He got involved in the game and was busy throughout. He was carded in the last 10 minutes of the game for a deliberate knock down. – 6/10

Morne Steyn
Solid as ever with his boot, and needs a special mention for this in the wet. He did swing the ball, showing some decent distribution skills. A few knocks could count against him, but hell, it was wet. – 6/10

Ruan Pienaar
Showed the amazing talent we all knew he had in him. Was pure class as he kept the Irish defence guessing and put in a few good clearance kicks. This man is surely the backup to Fourie du Preez – 9/10

Pierre Spies
Must have been his game of the year in the Springbok jersey. He was a menace on the run and was strong on defence. A good all round performance at the back of a good pack. – 8/10

Juan Smith
Showed again what an awesome player he is. Was good with ball in hand and scored that great run away try. Defensively he was impenetrable. – 8/10

Deon Stegmann
He was thrown in the deep end on debut, and proved to be a good swimmer. Tackled like a man possessed and was a real nuisance at the breakdown. Good game Deon – 7/10

Victor Matfield
He lead from the front on the day, and was his old self in the line outs with 3 steals on the day. A real good game from the tall chap. – 8/10

Bakkies Botha
The record breaking lock combination showed why they have played so many games together. Bakkies should get an 8 for his discipline alone. Showed that being the enforcer does not necessitate in yellow cards. – 7/10

Jannie du Plessis
The entire front row was absolutely destructive! Jannie was a mountain of strength and again was good discipline-wise. Solid performance Jannie – 7/10

Bismarck du Plessis
This man is the form hooker in South Africa at the moment. He had a few good runs and was busy on defence. The line outs were also solid. – 8/10

Beast Mtawarira
Wasn’t it wonderful to hear the crowd roar ‘Beast’ whenever he touched the ball? And they did it a lot as he was heavily involved in the loose. He did concede a penalty or two at scrum time though. – 8/10

Replacement worth rating:

Pat Lambie
Was a bundle of nerves when he came on, but still managed a good skip pass to Kirchner that lead to the try. Showed good distribution skills, but he must have been very disappointed with himself after the missed penalty. – 6/10

All the other replacements were on for 10 or less minutes.


  • personally i would have given aplon a 6. it seemed to me that he was out of position a fair bit when collecting kicks at the back. he was good under the high ball, and made a solid tackle or two.

    as for ruan i miht have gone for an 8, he was good, but he made one or two options incorrectly, i thought.

    vic could get perhaps half a point more, he really was good in the loose as well.

    while if spies got only a 7, i would have been happy. he played alo better than previously this year, but i still expect him to improve some more.

    rest of the points are spot on in my opinion.

  • Comment 1, posted at 08.11.10 11:35:55 by bloubulblog Reply
  • Very fair assesment, except I would have had your 6 as 5, I felt the majority of the 6/10 were average rather that above par. Felt beast deserved a 9 if you were giving Ruan a 9!! Had a huge game IMO!!

  • Comment 2, posted at 08.11.10 11:38:39 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • Fair rating I would reckon. Didn’t see much of Stegman, but in that weather that probably means he’s doing his job.

    On another point, what is Basson’s kicking out of hand like? With his aerial skills, I reckon at some stage someone is going to try in at 15? 😆

  • Comment 3, posted at 08.11.10 11:44:24 by Sportbilly Reply

  • I agree with your ratings Rich!!

    Well done!!

    Just as an aside, one would swear we lost the test based on the reaction from certain journalists. Jeez, we havent beaten the Irish in Ireland for 10 years!! 🙄

  • Comment 4, posted at 08.11.10 11:45:43 by wpw Reply
  • @Sportbilly (Comment 3) : i also didn’t see that much of stegmann outside of the first 20 mins, but when i watched the highlights you could see him doing the donkey work.

    it did look like he was a little out of breath by the time he got replaced. i think he did quite well in his first test.

  • Comment 5, posted at 08.11.10 11:50:06 by bloubulblog Reply

  • @bloubulblog (Comment 5) : For sure. Got no issues with him getting another start. Those 60 minutes would have done him wonders.

  • Comment 6, posted at 08.11.10 11:53:07 by Sportbilly Reply

  • I wasn’t impressed with Spies. Thought he made no progress at all with ball in hand. Maybe that’s just me, though.

  • Comment 7, posted at 08.11.10 11:54:01 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : You just want more Hits :mrgreen:

  • Comment 8, posted at 08.11.10 11:56:44 by Whindy Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : He was a lot better than he has been on EoYTs before. Willem Alberts would definitely be more effective though. Pondering Pieter’s penchant for playing players out of positition (suck on that alliteration Keo!) perhaps Pierre will play prop? Or rather wing, when Big Vic is back to full fitness?

  • Comment 9, posted at 08.11.10 12:19:46 by MerckZ Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 7) :

    Its just you!! 😈

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.11.10 12:23:26 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 10) : AND me!!! 😈 But let’s not go there again! 😆

  • Comment 11, posted at 08.11.10 12:29:11 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • SArugby gave Pierre a 6 : a few strong ball carries especially off the back of the scrum, but lost posession on more than one occasion and is not as an eager defender…

    I stand to be corrected, but I think Rapport gave him a 5…

  • Comment 12, posted at 08.11.10 12:39:15 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 (Comment 11) : :mrgreen: 😆

  • Comment 13, posted at 08.11.10 12:55:25 by wpw Reply
  • @Sportbilly (Comment 3) : compare stegmann`s performance to that of brussow last season in the corresponding fixture contest,brussow wins hands down..and brussow was all over the field ..and even had time to rip heaslip`s jersey( almost )off..

  • Comment 14, posted at 08.11.10 13:05:58 by bergshark Reply

  • @bloubulblog (Comment 5) : compare that to brussow`s debut test performance ..

  • Comment 15, posted at 08.11.10 13:08:27 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 15) : so should we then also compare lambie’s test debut to morne steyn’s? and perhaps keegan daniel’s to schalk burger’s?

    stegmann played a good game. not great, but good. take into account that he was called up less than a week before his first test, while not being 100% match fit. and playing in ireland, in wet conditions. most certainly not the perfect build up to your first test…

    sure brussow is an awesome player, but he is injured now.

  • Comment 16, posted at 08.11.10 13:19:06 by bloubulblog Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 14) : No doubt Brussouw is a koning. Can’t wait to see him back next year..

    Schalk/Alberts/Deysel/Smith at 7.

    Heinrich/Schalk/Steggies/Keegan at 6.

    Spies/Alberts/Kanko at 8?

    Eish, even I could pick a decent 3 from them!

  • Comment 17, posted at 08.11.10 13:23:30 by Sportbilly Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 14) : @bergshark (Comment 15) :

    Why should he be compared to Brussow?? Is Brussow available??

    No one is saying he should be first choice. He didnt select himself either.

    He made his debut and contributed to our first win IN Ireland in 10 years!!

  • Comment 18, posted at 08.11.10 13:24:22 by wpw Reply
  • @bloubulblog (Comment 16) : Ja, I think Steggies did well considering. Don’t think it was fair on him the way he was in then out of the squad and then starting with precious little game time. So if you consider that, he did well I reckon.. Got a feeling he is going to only get better as the tour goes on..

    Hope that Keegs gets a start against Scotland/ Baabaas at least to show what he can do as well.

  • Comment 19, posted at 08.11.10 13:26:38 by Sportbilly Reply

  • Steggo did fine.

  • Comment 20, posted at 08.11.10 13:30:22 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • There goes the diversity through provincialism again, seems like the Boks lost, coach get slaughtered, individual players crucified, what the heck, why bother to support the Boks if your heart is only with half of the team and management staff… 👿

  • Comment 21, posted at 08.11.10 13:43:01 by Charlie Reply

  • Wpw – why are you going on like Joan of Arc today?

    Fair ratings Rich.

  • Comment 22, posted at 08.11.10 13:43:53 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Stegman and Krusty did a decent job for first caps.

    Stegman was a little quiet, but didn’t do anything wrong and having been brought in from not playing any rugby for a while, that was to be expected. But you can’t rate a guy on circumstances and therefore I would have given him no more than 6.

    Krusty was solid enough on defense. And carried the ball safely in attack. He did make one really bad error and for that I would have given him less than 6.

  • Comment 23, posted at 08.11.10 13:47:51 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Lambie was good when he came on. Backline moved around a little. The first kick was a nervous kick, but once he got that out of the way he went back to his usual game.

    Morne Steyn did not have a good game. Neither did Spies. Like Rob said, didn’t make enough meters when carrying the ball.

    Habana had a better game. Made one good run. Tried to intercept again, and had a big hand in the Irish try.

    Matfield and Bakkies, both great, as a combination they seem to lift each other’s game.

  • Comment 24, posted at 08.11.10 13:52:35 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I was watching for Stegman, and I thought he actually had quite a busy game… I guess it just shows that perception is based a lot on who a particular person is watching or focussed on.

    Imagine how much more Pienaar could have done if we didn’t spend half the game with his hands in the air whinging at the ref!

  • Comment 25, posted at 08.11.10 13:54:54 by CS Reply

  • @Big Fish (Comment 22) :

    Because I can!! 😈

  • Comment 26, posted at 08.11.10 13:55:46 by wpw Reply
  • Juan Smith, class.

    Jean De Villiers, did what was expected of him. Very solid. To bad he started with a niggle and might be out for this weekend.

  • Comment 27, posted at 08.11.10 13:57:57 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • :mrgreen: @Letgo (Comment 24) : I see Rich says Habana was yellow-carded… flip, I don’t know where I was, cos I honestly didn’t see him getting sent off? At what time in the match did that happen? Maybe I was refilling the beers 😳

  • Comment 28, posted at 08.11.10 13:59:33 by CS Reply

  • Basson didn’t get much chance, but did a few good things and I look forward to seeing more of him on tour.

    Aplon suprised me, he was very solid at the back. He was out of position a few times and his defense could have been better, but he had a pretty good game.

    Ruan wasn’t excellent, but did have a really good game. Knew what was needed for a victory.

  • Comment 29, posted at 08.11.10 14:01:48 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 23) : i don’t think the idea is to give negative marks, or to deduct points for mistakes.

    then morne steyn would have points deducted for a silly knock, and a kick out of the full, spies for a knock, bismarck for two penalties, as well as missing vic at a lineout (for our only lost lineout ball), and for taking too long with the put in, and giving ireland possession at a crucial time.

  • Comment 30, posted at 08.11.10 14:02:48 by bloubulblog Reply

  • @CS (Comment 28) : CS, it was not caught on camera as far as i know. watched the game, and the highlights twice, and no mention of the yellow.

    i only heard about when saw an interview with vic and he mentioned that they did well to hold out with 14 men.

  • Comment 31, posted at 08.11.10 14:05:06 by bloubulblog Reply

  • @CS (Comment 28) : I didn’t see that either, I know we were warned, never saw the card.

  • Comment 32, posted at 08.11.10 14:05:12 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @bloubulblog (Comment 30) : No, but Zane’s error did lead to a try, as did Habana’s and for that you always lose points in my book. When the pressure was on and they had a chance to proof themselves, they made bad errors, that to me stands out in a performance.

    A knock and losing a line-out is part of the game, no game goes without these errors, but you will start deducting points when to many of those has been made by one player.

  • Comment 33, posted at 08.11.10 14:09:37 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • So here’s an interesting debate… with Frans Steyn available this week, where do you play him? If at all?

    With 2 of our 3 first choice centres injured it would make sense to play him at centre (it is his current position afterall), but then do you play him at 12 or 13. If JDV is fit, then does Krusty fall out or take Aplon’s place at 15?

    Or do you put Steyn in at 15, keep Krusty at 13 and move Aplon to 14?

  • Comment 34, posted at 08.11.10 14:11:11 by CS Reply

  • Jannie, Bissie and Beast, set the platform. Great game by those three, nice to have them back together for the Boks!

  • Comment 35, posted at 08.11.10 14:12:31 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @CS (Comment 34) : I think Jean is out! So it would make sense to play Fransie at 12. Leave the rest of the team as they are. There’s no need to shuffle around now.

    If Jean is ready, that opens up a bit of a discussion.

  • Comment 36, posted at 08.11.10 14:17:14 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @CS (Comment 34) : So if Jean is fit. I would play Steyn at 15. Move aplon to 14. Least disruption to the team.

    Or use Steyn at 12/13 with Jean 12/13 and leave the rest of the team as they are.

    It just depends where Pdiv wants to play Steyn in the future and I think when our injured centers comes back he’ll be moved to the back, so it’s no use playing him in the centers now. imo!

  • Comment 37, posted at 08.11.10 14:20:44 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @bloubulblog (Comment 31) : @Letgo (Comment 32) : It’s quite an indictment on a player’s contribution that he can be off the field for 10 minutes and no one even notices him missing 😯

    Could that have been why Aplon was trying to rush up to intercept the Ireland pass that became an easy try?

  • Comment 38, posted at 08.11.10 14:20:48 by CS Reply

  • @CS (Comment 38) : habana was the tackling the player who threw the last pass, he actually got a hand to it. and if he was carded for a deliberate knock on, it would have been for the very move that lead to the try.

    initially i was under the impression that the yellow card was for the backline being off side all the time.

    it makes sense that he was carded after the try, that would explain why it might not have been captured on camera. as far as i recall, the commentators didn’t even mention it.

  • Comment 39, posted at 08.11.10 14:25:23 by bloubulblog Reply

  • @CS (Comment 38) : Habana was still on the field then. He tried to intercept the pass. That’s why Aplon also went for the intercept. He was put in two minds. It was a bad decision though, because the ball had already gone forward of Habana’s hand.

  • Comment 40, posted at 08.11.10 14:29:29 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 33) : i don’t agree with your logic.

    sure, a knock on can be excused because of a poor pass perhaps, or getting man and ball at the same time, but not otherwise. completely missing your jumper is not excusable, if we had lost a line out because of good competing by the opposition, you can’t do much about it.

    and while kirchner’s error caused the irish to get in to our 22, it was only 3/4 phases later that they scored. so in my humble opinion habana and aplon’s mistakes were bigger factors in the try (i might be a little biased in my take on this…). but our defence had enough time to scramble and recover to prevent the score.

  • Comment 41, posted at 08.11.10 14:29:55 by bloubulblog Reply

  • Well, it least where Spies is concerned, it looks like me, Letgo and Rob watched the same game!!! 😆

  • Comment 42, posted at 08.11.10 14:45:00 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @bloubulblog (Comment 39) : Ok, that would make sense.

  • Comment 43, posted at 08.11.10 15:23:23 by CS Reply

  • @bloubulblog (Comment 41) : He put his team under pressure and it was unnecessary. Habana and Aplon’s mistakes were both bad, you’re right so lets deduct a point for them both. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 44, posted at 08.11.10 15:29:51 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Spies made rugby365’s team of the weekend. 😈

  • Comment 45, posted at 08.11.10 15:30:33 by McLovin Reply

  • @McLovin (Comment 45) : 😆 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 46, posted at 08.11.10 15:46:55 by wpw Reply
  • Looks like you should just be injured before the tests and play a cc game or 2 and you can be selected.

  • Comment 47, posted at 08.11.10 15:53:04 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @Letgo (Comment 44) : Zane put the team under pressure with that play.

  • Comment 48, posted at 08.11.10 15:55:01 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @Honey Badger (Comment 48) : Yip, that’s what I was trying to bring across.

  • Comment 49, posted at 08.11.10 15:59:18 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 49) : Just giving a helping hand. 😎

  • Comment 50, posted at 08.11.10 17:00:08 by Honey Badger Reply

    Honey Badger
  • @Letgo (Comment 36) :

    Jean has been declared fit to practise with the team tomorrow..

  • Comment 51, posted at 08.11.10 20:50:32 by Richard Ferguson Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 51) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 52, posted at 08.11.10 21:11:25 by chaz Reply

  • Here I go again, posting after everyone else, and probably nobody will even see it. 😆 Ah well, therapeutic to jot ones thoughts down, even on a blog site. 😉

    Aplon played well at 15, did what was needed from a 15 and has shown that size is not really an issue for him.

    Krusty did the basics of 13 very well, with one mistake. He was solid defensively and offered something on attack. The angle and vision he showed on Aplon’s try was excellent. He is no, and never will be a Fourie, or for that matter an Adi at 13, but he did not let his team, coach or country down with this performance.

    Ruan seemed very comfortable at 9, much more so than he was at the Sharks. He was never given a chance to settle at 9 with the Sharks. His passes were snappy and he was at the base of almost every ruck and maul ready to distribute. He has had a tendency in the past to isolate himself on his runs, and for going walkabout at times and not being at the base ready to distribute. He exhibited none of these on Saturday, did everything we need from a 9, and when Lambie came on, it was clear that Ruan was protecting him somewhat, helping ease into the limelight so to speak.

    Spies was horrible in the first half, he was knocked backwards in every tackle, and seemed to lose the ball a fair bit as well. He never dominated at the tackle point all game, clearly a shadow of his best. In the second half he was able to break the advantage line a few times, but was still knocked backwards in the tackle. Alberts never goes backwards in the tackle, and nor does Daniesaurus, and to be honest Kanko rarely goes backwards either. We need an 8 that dominates at the tackle point, not a show pony that is great running around people, but shies away from contact. Right now, Kanko is a better balance of show pony and power than Spies is (pure show pony).

    Bissie scrummed better than I have seen before. He is a big lad but lacked in technique when it came to scrummaging. He was up against a much shorter hooker and in the past, has not done well against a shorter hooker, this time he dominated his opposition, often forcing him to pop. His good scrummaging forced the opposing hooker to be worthless in any sort of drive. I’m sure Smit has been working with him on his technique since John has always been a much superior scrummager and like Bissie is tall.

    In general the forwards did a superb job of protecting the ball. They seemed to have taken a page from the Sharks playbook for this. In this years CC, the Sharks were awesome protecting their own ball often times accumulating 15 or more phases. The Boks were successful in this regard as well. I think all 8 forwards did their job in this department and the backs threw in their weight when needed. I hope this continues.

  • Comment 53, posted at 09.11.10 01:17:38 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • Does anyone know if Brussouw played 2nd team at grey bloem in 2004 cause D.Stegman and Richardt Strauss were the Flanks so where did Brussouw play

  • Comment 54, posted at 09.11.10 01:59:51 by zvision10 Reply

  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 53) : Thanks for your insights… so you see, somoene did read them 😉

  • Comment 55, posted at 09.11.10 08:29:27 by CS Reply

  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 53) :

    Well said DB!!

    Thanks for your contribution!! 😉

  • Comment 56, posted at 09.11.10 09:47:55 by wpw Reply
  • @wpw (Comment 56) : now why the change of attitude?? DB agrees with me on Spies! Is this some form of sexism??

  • Comment 57, posted at 09.11.10 11:32:09 by Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • m steyn`s test goalkicking stat was at one one point in the match 41 from 41 😯 and we all know they werent all from right in -front 20m out .. but would he make the aus or kiwi side at fh ahead of cooper or carter..?and it`s not like carter has been kicking everything from every angle (like m steyn)..and if goalkickers win matches ,why hasnt wllem de waal ever been selected for a test match?
    ralph keyes (commentator) said during the game: if they(the boks) can bring some dynamism into their game,they`ll be serious operators .. (he was referring to the boks unwillingness to play attacking rugby like the abs do.. we should start backing ourselves ,because we can run the abs of the field ,,go watch the games ..we had chances to run at them from 70-80m out,but our natural conservative approach smothers the natural talent we have 🙁 .. give m steyn or whoever at fh ,or whoever in whatever position and any field position on the field carte blanche to run it IF the match situation warrants it.. get every player in the mindset of wanting to score great tries in the bok jersey!!remember:the best attacking player is the support player.. get back in numbers ,counter-attack in numbers..)

  • Comment 58, posted at 09.11.10 11:40:28 by bergshark Reply

  • @Ice-Cool CC Champ 2010 (Comment 57) :

    Nah, I’m just not in the mood to repeat what I said yesterday!! 😕

    En ek is honger, ek kannie reg dink nie!! 🙄

  • Comment 59, posted at 09.11.10 11:44:34 by wpw Reply

Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.