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How the Springboks rated in their 100th meeting against the All Blacks

26 September 2021 - 14:18
Sbu Nkosi celebrates after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match between the Springboks and New Zealand at QCB Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Townsville, Australia.
Sbu Nkosi celebrates after scoring a try during the Rugby Championship match between the Springboks and New Zealand at QCB Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Townsville, Australia.
Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

The Springboks showed marked improvement in the 19-17 Rugby Championship defeat to New Zealand in the landmark 100th meeting between the two sides on Saturday, but the South Africans were outdone by a late penalty by Jordie Barrett.

Here is how Springboks players rated in Queensland [the ratings are in brackets].

15. Willie le Roux [5]

One of the senior players in the team, Le Roux had an underwhelming day in the office and he is the one who didn’t release the ball that gave the All Blacks kicker the opportunity to win the match.

14. Sbu Nkosi [5]

Had a day of mixed emotions as he scored SA’s only try of the match to give the Boks belief, but he was punished with 10 minutes in the sin bin for a deliberate knock-down.

13. Lukhanyo Am [6]

Always a live wire in the midfield with carries, tackles and creating opportunities for wide players, but this was not his best game in the Springbok colours as he did not get enough opportunities.

12. Damian de Allende [6]

De Allende is one of the key players for the Boks and he produced good work defensively, even though there were a few missed tackles. But he didn’t get enough opportunities going forward.

11. Makazole Mapimpi [6]

Mapimpi was not at his very best when it came to dealing with aerial balls and he gave away penalties at rucks. He defended well though but there were not many attacking opportunities for him.

10. Handré Pollard [4]

The vastly experienced Pollard was one of the weak links in the ranks and was guilty of kicking the ball even when the Boks had momentum, and in good attacking positions. He also missed what was an easy conversion which could have been the difference.

9. Faf de Klerk [6] 

He did a lot of kicking in the match. Some of the kicks were good and put the All Blacks under pressure, while others were poor decision-making under pressure. At times he was found wanting at the base of the ruck.

8. Duane Vermeulen [7]

The influence of the veteran N0.8 grew as the match went on and bar a few mistakes here and there, he had a good game. Coach Jacques Nienaber will be happy that he is beginning to regain his best form after many months out with injury.

7. Kwagga Smith [7] 

Given a rare start, Smith went about his business effectively as he tackled, carried the ball, troubled the All Blacks with his speed and was busy at the breakdowns.

6. Siya Kolisi [8]

The man gave a captain's performance which impressively included some great tackles, carries and good leadership on the park as the Springboks took correct decisions when it came to the execution of set pieces. 

5. Lood de Jager [7]

The towering De Jager was one of the outstanding performers for the Boks as he took charge of the SA line-outs. He also stole the ball a few times from poorly taken throw-ins by the All Blacks.

4. Eben Etzebeth [6] 

One of the senior players who will be looking to improve in the next match at the weekend as he was at fault for New Zealand’s try after missing a tackle on Codie Taylor.

3. Frans Malherbe [7]

He recovered from an early knock on the head to show an impressive performance in the scrums. He carried the ball very well to earn crucial territory, and was like a mosquito to Joe Moody.

2. Mbongeni Mbonambi [6]

He threw well from the line-outs and carried the ball well, tackled whenever it was necessary but was replaced at halftime without having stamped his authority on the match.

1. Trevor Nyakane [7] 

It was a significant occasion for him as it was his 50th Test match for the Springboks.  Nyakane had a solid shift as he was good in the scrums and was solid in the defence against the dangerous All Blacks attack.


16. Malcolm Marx (replaced Mbonambi) [6]

He made his presence felt when he came on after the halftime break by producing a number of good carries, strong tackles and finding his jumpers in the line-outs.

17. Steven Kitshoff (replaced Nyakane) [6]

Kitsy also produced a storming performance in the defence. He was instrumental in the scrums and his general contribution was good.

18. Vincent Koch (Malherbe) [6]

He made an immediate impact shortly after coming on by winning a scrum penalty.

19. Francois Mostert (Etzebeth) [6]

The South African could have wrapped up the match in the closing stages after his line-out steal, but was responsible for the spill that helped the All Blacks kick for touch and win the match.

20. Marco van Staden (replaced Smith) [7] 

He impressed after coming on in the 63rd minute with some powerful carries in the final quarter where he got the better of a few defenders.

21. Herschel Jantjies (replaced De Klerk)

Not enough time on the field to be rated.

23. Frans Steyn (replaced De Allende)

Not enough time to be rated.

22. Elton Jantjies

Not used