Bok player ratings v Argentina

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Springboks, The Rugby Championship on 20 Aug 2012 at 09:26
Tagged with : , , , ,

The Boks saw off a plucky Argentine outfit to the tune of 27-6 in their Rugby Championship opener on Saturday, but to say the performance fell a little short of expectations, given the opposition, would be an understatement. Let’s look at the individuals concerned.

1) Beast Mtawarira. A busy and effective game at loosehead, marked by a strong scrum performance against top opposition and some decent carries. 6/10
2) Bismarck du Plessis. Went off after only 5 minutes, poor lad.
3) Jannie du Plessis. Stood his man against the hugely experienced Roncero and provided solidity to the Bok scrum. 6/10
4) Eben Etzebeth. Disappeared a little, I felt, and made little impact as a ball carrier. 5/10
5) Andries Bekker. Despite Victor Matfield’s sideline opinion that Dries had put in a “man of the match” performance, I saw little to write home about other than some bog-standard line-out takes from a guy who’s a head taller than anyone else on the field. 5/10
6) Marcell Coetzee. The Bok Energizer bunny was everywhere and scored a cracking try to boot. Was also the only forward to make any impact with ball in hand. 8/10
7) Willem Alberts. Massive on defence as usual, but struggled to make much impact as a ball carrier. 6/10
8) Keegan Daniel. Made a few important tackles and also put in some valuable touches, with his linking skills coming to the fore. 6/10

9) Francois Hougaard. A far better game from the scrumhalf, with much improved service and some nice running once he moved to wing. 7/10
10) Morne Steyn. Goal-kicking was again pinpoint and showed some quick wits to set up Habana’s try. The line outside him, though, caught a cold all day but that’s probably the way he was told to play. 7/10
11) Lwazi Mvovo. Tried hard in all that he did and managed a few nice runs, but the backs didn’t see enough of the ball for him to be used to best effect. 6/10
12) Frans Steyn. Had very little to do on the day, which is bizarre for an inside centre. Frans got no ball in anything resembling a decent position and had to contend with alternating between big defence and bashing it up. 6/10
13) Jean de Villiers. Truly awful performance from the captain. Showed nothing on attack and was regularly penalised for holding on in contact. 4/10
14) Bryan Habana. Had a quiet game apart from a moment of magic that resulted in the Boks’ third try. 6/10
15) Zane Kirchner. An assured performance at fullback from a man who, while not loved outside of Pretoria, probably deserves a little more respect than he tends to get. 7/10

16) Adriaan Strauss. Busy busy busy, yet lacked the desired impact. Atter tends to pop up in the right places a lot and runs great supporting lines, but certainly doesn’t challenge the defence the way Bismarck does. 7/10
17) Pat Cilliers. A decent enough debut and held the scrum up well whilst he was on. 6/10
18) Flip van der Merwe. Another player who tends to accumulate test jerseys without doing much at all whilst wearing them. 5/10
19) Jacques Potgieter. Flew into everything he could see, with wild locks flowing freely, but really needs to add some accuracy to the intensity. 6/10
20) Ruan Pienaar. Added real impetus and unpredictability to the staid Bok backline when he got on. Surely must start next week? 7/10
21) Pat Lambie. Unused. On a day when the Boks lacked creativity at the back, Lambie languished on the bench. I mean, WTF?
22) JJ Engelbrecht. Had few opportunities, but did little to either inspire or annoy, which is a reasonable enough return from a 10-minute debut performance. 5/10


  • I agree about Bekker, I don’t know what Matfield was going on about!

  • Comment 1, posted at 20.08.12 09:39:26 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I think Morne Steyn deserves at least an 8 for his performance.

    Also thought Daniel did a ‘Spies’ in that he was nowhere!! 🙄

  • Comment 2, posted at 20.08.12 09:40:22 by wpw Reply
  • I think the reason only Marcell got over the advantage line was because only Marcell could do it with the predictable game the Boks was playing. It takes way to long for the ball to get out and although I get that this is what the coach probably ask, this would have counted against Hougaards name in my book. You can’t expect guys to get over the advantage line when every player in the opposition them knows exactly who you’re going to pass to and what you’re going to do next.

    It’s quite amazing that Marcell still managed to make the meters he did. I don’t expect the Boks to win any more than 3 games if they keep on playing like this.

  • Comment 3, posted at 20.08.12 09:44:34 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @wpw (Comment 2) : I think Daniel is 40 odd games short of being able to do a Spies 😉

    As for Morné, the rest of the world have realised that there’s more to being a FH than kicking for goal….when will SA? 🙄

  • Comment 4, posted at 20.08.12 09:44:37 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I also think Morne deserved an 8 even a 9 considering he executed the gameplan his coaches asked him to play, almost perfectly.

    Never give the ball to your backs …
    Kick more than you pass …
    Don’t miss a kick at goal …

    See he gets a 7 because he passed the ball to his backs 3 times … bad Morne.

  • Comment 5, posted at 20.08.12 09:48:30 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I actually thought that Strauss was not too bad. What I did not like was him taking up the space of a guy with pace. Quite a few times when we had a good backline move, who pops up, where a wing or centre could have made a dash for the line, instead we sit with a frontrower at the end of the movement…

  • Comment 6, posted at 20.08.12 09:49:38 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • @Letgo (Comment 3) : HM’s game plan is an “Arm Strong – Head Stupid” theory.

    If you can’t run through them, then you’re not executing the game plan well enough.

    Maybe HM does not have any confidence in the skills of SA players, and basically dumbed it down (kind of like the Streamers game plan :mrgreen: ) so that everyone will be able to come into the team and execute it.

    Hopefully it is a long term plan working towards creating a more skilled rugby player for the future, whilst still being able to win games during the interim.

    That’s what I’m hoping/wishing/dreaming HM and Rassie is working on – in which case I can live with our one dimensional game plan for now, as long as it is working towards a greater skilled player.

  • Comment 7, posted at 20.08.12 09:52:27 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • And Keegan was never going to get the ball as much as he does with the Sharks, because Meyer only picked him because he had to.

    He made more tackles and attended more rucks than Spies could dream to in one game.

  • Comment 8, posted at 20.08.12 09:55:31 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author


  • Comment 9, posted at 20.08.12 09:55:51 by klempie Reply

  • why is our bench filled with Bull players who have barely established themselves in their 1st year playing for the bulls? Bull players undeserving of playing is getting highly annoying.

  • Comment 10, posted at 20.08.12 10:36:02 by Dunx Reply

  • Hougaardt and Habana(younger) is very alike. Both scrummies cum wings. Maybe Ruan should start at 9 with Hougie on the wing.

  • Comment 11, posted at 20.08.12 10:42:55 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • @wpw (Comment 2) : Amazing, we actually agree about something! I thought Morné was actually pretty good, having a hand in two of the tries. And Keegan wasn’t as prominent as I had hoped, so that that overgrown fairy Spies can be displaced once and for all. Still, that was only Keegan’s first start at 8, and Spies has had 50 opportunities to impress us with his mediocrity, so there’s hope yet.

    I thought Strauss played really well, Marcell was monstrous, and while I will never be a Kirchner fan, I thought he had a pretty decent game too; definitely good enough to warrant another start. Habana was to my mind better than a 6, especially given his positional switch.

    Biggest disappointment was Andries Bekker; good, clean takes on his own ball, but zero influence on opposition throws. For a guy who is 11 feet tall, that is not good enough.

  • Comment 12, posted at 20.08.12 10:44:18 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 12) : Do you think Keegan did enough to be given another start from HM when his inclusion in the starting 15 was already a big surprise?

    Kanko’s timing sucks!

  • Comment 13, posted at 20.08.12 10:51:12 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • I think Marcell deserved man of the match. Hougaard, although much improved was still not cutting it in my opinion, he is a much better winger than he is a scrumhalf. Morne was back to his average self, unfortunately if your a south african, average seems to be enough at flyhalf. Was dissapointed at the lack of opportunities frans steyn and daniel got. Kirschner had one of his better games, couldn’t really fault him even if I wanted to. I also thought the only reason we got away without a genuine fetcher against england was because of bismarck and while strauss was good he is not bismarck and we might be in need of that genuine fetcher come aus and nz.

  • Comment 14, posted at 20.08.12 10:53:55 by MB1810 Reply

  • My 2 cents:
    – Zane mixed the good with the bad in my opinion. Good under the high ball, solid in defence and scored a nice try but the way he joins the backline tends to rob us of momentum on a lot of occasions. There’s no unpredictability to it and at times it closes down the space of the players outside of him.
    – Am I imagining things or were there a lot more steals on our ball once Daniel was replaced by Potgieter? Was Potgieter meaningfully contributing to our rucks? Ditto for Etzebeth.

  • Comment 15, posted at 20.08.12 10:56:35 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 13) : I think it’s borderline. However, it is not fair to judge a player after only one start; I think he needs to at the very least be given another opportunity against Argentina. This is after all his first start at 8 for the Boks, and he may need a while to adjust, since Heyneke might see his role differently to the way Plum does.

  • Comment 16, posted at 20.08.12 10:59:33 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • @MB1810 (Comment 14) : @vanmartin (Comment 15) : Kirchner did nothing wrong. He didn’t do much right either.

    Too many opportunities from the back turned into nothing, because he runs sideways into the wings space. He also doesn’t know how to side step. That goose-step thing he does didn’t fool anyone.

    If you want save (HM does) keep playing Kirchner, but there’s other fullbacks that’s both save and can create opportunities for the players outside them. Just to name a few … Lambie (not a FB, but when used correctly from the back, to join the line is a much better option than Zane). He’s also a better last line defender than Zane.

    Ludik is just as save as Zane and can actually break the line (I know his form is more recent, but at some point it needs te be rewarded).

    Gio Aplon – He’s been just as save as Kirchner and can play on the wing, which could open the door for Juan de Jong to cover both centres.

    Willie le Roux – Another player who looks dangerous any time he touches the ball and can do everything Zane does.

    Andries Coetzee – If you want to give young talent a chance, you might want to start here. HM will have to think outside the box, but is Zane really what HM think is the best for Bok future? He’s at his best already. He’s not going to give us any more than he has already.

    Then there’s also the injured Jaco Taute.

    I don’t think you can rate a Springbok player on what he didn’t do. What did Zane to to deserve his spot. The level and standard should be higher when playing for your country.

  • Comment 17, posted at 20.08.12 11:08:41 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Culling Song (Comment 16) : I would start him again, but I don’t know that HM would.

    I would also have given him the ball more, but clearly HM don’t see his role as a ball carrier or link in the team.

    He should look at SR stats, Keegan is very capable of making meters with ball in hand. It’s laughable to put a player like Keegan in the team on not let the ball go to him at all. (I can’t remember him touching the ball once). For the Sharks outside the halfback Keegan handles the ball most. You can’t blame the player for that turnaround.

  • Comment 18, posted at 20.08.12 11:11:45 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @Letgo (Comment 17) : “Too many opportunities from the back turned into nothing, because he runs sideways into the wings space. He also doesn’t know how to side step. That goose-step thing he does didn’t fool anyone.”

    Relieved someone else picked up on that. I was watching on a Drifta which is a little dodgy when one wants to analyze play :mrgreen:

  • Comment 19, posted at 20.08.12 11:14:01 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 19) : The space that was left after JDV ran diagonally across the field each time he got the ball

  • Comment 20, posted at 20.08.12 11:17:27 by Bokhoring Reply
  • @Bokhoring (Comment 20) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 21, posted at 20.08.12 11:20:26 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Potgieter needs to add strength and ability to his “intensity” – not since Francois Louw have I seen a loose forward in a Bok jersey offer so little go-forward. He’s got no upper-body strength, like an ironing board wearing an emo-band wig.

    Strauss acquitted himself well, and while I’d never wish an injury on anyone, this is probably a good opportunity for Bismarck to get a rest and for us to develop our depth at hooker.

    Etzebeth is another long, tall, slab of nothing – I’m sure he’ll develop into something decent, but I like a number 4 lock to be more solid. Yeah, he bashed Bismarck in the semi-final, but that wasn’t really strength, just a leading elbow to the kop. Was disappointed with how much joy the Newlands crowd took from that incident, but that’s another story.

  • Comment 22, posted at 20.08.12 11:22:58 by MerckZ Reply

  • And another thing, did anybody else notice Steve Walsh give an Argie player’s bum a bit of a squeeze after a break in play? It was bizarre…

  • Comment 23, posted at 20.08.12 11:29:26 by MerckZ Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 22) : No dude, I have to disagree. Etzebeth is a strong boy who had an off game and it doesn’t help that he (and the other loosies) was given the ball on the backfoot. Very un-imaginative play. There was 2 or 3 defenders on all of them before they even got the ball. Only Marcell can get go forward of back foot ball.

    Etzebeth is 120KG plus. That’s pretty big for a 21 year old. Also he, according to me was one of the better ball carrying locks in SR.

  • Comment 24, posted at 20.08.12 11:35:09 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @MerckZ (Comment 22) : Pierre Spies. He offers zero go forward. I’d take both Potgieter and Louw before Spies … and I always thought Louw was a decent loosie.

  • Comment 25, posted at 20.08.12 11:38:16 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Well also vermeulan as apparently HM does rate him so lets see how quick he becomes match fit.

  • Comment 26, posted at 20.08.12 12:57:32 by Dunx Reply

  • @MerckZ (Comment 23) Yeah i saw it, it was funny he got close with the Puma captain with a tap and a squeeze. Wonder what the puma captain thought. 😀

  • Comment 27, posted at 20.08.12 12:58:58 by Dunx Reply

  • I thought Strauss played well to get into position and supported well, but he seems to lose the ball after impact way too often.

    I am certain Ruan has earned himself a starting opportunity, its a whole different team with him on the field and even Hougaard looks more dangerous with Ruan giving quick ball.

  • Comment 28, posted at 20.08.12 14:00:13 by Orelando_G Reply

  • If we play like we did on saturday in Argintina there will definately be a difference in score from last week. the Pumas now have the taste, …we better pull up our socks 😯

  • Comment 29, posted at 20.08.12 18:02:15 by Doc Reply


Add Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.