The Springboks produced their best performance of the Heyneke Meyer era to record a historic 38-12 win over the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
It was complete domination by the Springbok pack, which laid the platform for South Africa’s first ever win at the venue and saw them break a 42-year Brisbane bogey in spectacular fashion.
They dominated the set pieces and the breakdown and subsequently scored four well-taken tries to secure the bonus point.
Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.
15 Zane Kirchner
Did what was asked of him. Was reliable under the high ball, made no glaring errors and got on the scoresheet. That said, he didn’t exactly set the field alight or brought something extra to the table.
14 Willie le Roux
Such a manipulator of space and so comfortable on the wing despite having less space to work with than at fullback. Nearly scored in the first half, put Kirchner in with a great ball and grabbed the bonus point try. Great on defence as well, intercepting inside his 22 in the first half and falling back to deny James O’Connor in the second.
13 JJ Engelbrecht
A quiet day with ball in hand but his key responsibility was always going to be on defence and he delivered in that regard, missing just one tackle.
12 Jean de Villiers (captain)
Conceded some early penalties but kept a cool head and kept his team composed. Didn’t give Christian Lealiifano an inch and made some strong runs, most crucially the direct surge that saw him score the visitors’ second try.
11 Bryan Habana
Injected himself into the action as he always does that like Le Roux, saw him make an intercept inside his 22, and made a scorching run and chip down the touchline that led to De Villiers’ try.
10 Morné Steyn
Made some defensive errors and missed two kicks at goal but you can’t have too many criticism of a flyhalf who contributed 18 points and got his backline firing.
9 Ruan Pienaar
Much improved distribution but his tactical kicking was all over the place.
8 Duane Vermeulen
Immense all-round performance in which he showcased all the skills required of a No.8 and then some. Showed his unmatched breakdown ability as an eighthman and silky ball skills in addition to making strong carries and big hits.
7 Willem Alberts
Harshly yellow-carded but this fuelled the big man’s fire as he lifted his workrate to new heights. With 12 bone-jarring hits, he led the tackle stats and kept the Wallabies on the back foot and won a turnover on the deck.
6 Francois Louw
Invaluable wherewithal and efficiency at the breakdown, particularly in the first half. The Boks dominated the breakdown and he led the surge in what is such a well-oiled loose trio.
5 Flip van der Merwe
His continued selection is baffling. Once again failed to deliver and proved a liability due to his indiscipline. Conceded three penalties and used just once in the line-out.
4 Eben Etzebeth
In contrast to his lock partner, Etzebeth played hard and within the rules, was a pillar of strength in the line-out with eight takes and made a textbook tackle and turnover on Wallaby captain Will Genia.
3 Jannie du Plessis
Anchored the dominant Bok scrum and bled for the cause.
2 Bismarck du Plessis
Solid in the set pieces but his greatest contributions came in the tight loose where he immediately showed his breakdown prowess and used his upper body strength to force a maul. His only mistake was the knock-on close to the line.
1 Tendai Mtawarira
Turned the scrum into an attacking weapon as he absolutely steamrolled Sekope Kepu and made a few carries.
16 Adriaan Strauss (on for B du Plessis, 56th minute)
Continued the ascendency in both set pieces and contributed at the breakdown.
17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (on for Mtawarira, 56th minute)
Strong in the scrum and upped his workrate on defence.
18 Coenie Oosthuizen (on for J du Plessis – blood, second minute, on for J du Plessis, 63 minute)
Barged over for his first Test try that got the ball rolling and did the job at tighthead when he returned in the final quarter.
19 Juandre Kruger (on for Van der Merwe, 56th minute)
Made an excellent contribution from the bench. There was the telling gather of Habana’s kick that led to De Villiers’ try and some big hits.
20 Siya Kolisi (on for Louw, 70th minute)
21 Jano Vermaak (on for Pienaar, 76th minute)
22 Pat Lambie (on for Steyn, 70th minute)
23 Jan Serfontein (on for De Villiers, 70th minute)