Player ratings: Take a bow, Du Preez


Fourie du Preez played a starring role in the Springboks’ emphatic 28-8 victory over the Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday.

By: Rugby365

The veteran made his first start for the Boks since the 2011 World Cup against the selfsame Australians and he proved that class is indeed permanent. He dictated the pace of the game with his speed to the breakdown and excellent distribution and showed that he’s undoubtedly South Africa’s best option at No.9. In the pack, vice-captain Adriaan Strauss led the charge while Eben Etzebeth enjoyed another stellar Test outing.

Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.

15 Zane Kirchner
Rock solid in all departments and got much more involved on attack, making 10 runs in total and dotting down.

14 Willie le Roux
Did exceptionally well to score with no room to work with, chased well and contested particularly well in the air.

13 JJ Engelbrecht
A rather quiet outing but showed good presence of mind on the break to sum up the situation and feed Kirchner on his inside for his try.

12 Jean de Villiers (captain)
Continued his rich vein of form with another outstanding performance. Caused plenty of problems with his strong running, threw a sublime pass to create Kirchner’s try and won a penalty on the deck. Made some curious captaincy calls, though, not to chase the bonus point sooner.

11 Bryan Habana
Full of enthusiasm and energy which showed he hasn’t lost any of his hunger for Test rugby. Went looking for work but didn’t get any real opportunities on attack.

10 Morné Steyn
Satisfactory best sums up his 50th Test. Enjoyed being reunited with his old Bok and Bulls partner and kept the continuity on attack but some minor uncharacteristic errors (such as kicking out on the full) slipped into his game.

9 Fourie du Preez
His influence was apparent in the high tempo at which the Boks played the game. His distribution – in which he showcased a full array of passes – was immaculate in its crispness and accuracy and his vision to identify the ideal standoff and support runners (see Strauss’ try) exceptional. Slowed down in the second half but clearly a player who hasn’t lost any of his class.

8 Duane Vermeulen
A massive presence across the park, even outworking the more mobile Francois Louw in the first half, but was on the wrong side of the referee all game, giving away three penalties and ultimately being yellow carded.

7 Willem Alberts
Not his strongest game. His workrate and physicality wasn’t at its usual high standards and he fell off a couple of tackles.

6 Francois Louw
One of the Boks’ most industrious ball carriers but like Alberts wasn’t at his best. Most importantly, he blew hot and cold at the breakdown, winning two turnovers but also conceding two penalties.

5 Flip van der Merwe
Had a solid game and was particularly accurate at the restart before seeing yellow for a dangerous leading elbow in the tackle.

4 Eben Etzebeth
Most impressive of his all-round spectacular performance was his uncanny workrate for a man of his sheer size. He was in the thick of the action in the tight loose, made a peerless 12 tackles and dominated the line-out with seven takes.

3 Jannie du Plessis
Not quite the 50th Test performance he would have envisioned, conceding an early scrum penalty and contributing just a few carries.

2 Adriaan Strauss
A near faultless display all-round and a top contender for man of the match before being replaced after 49 minutes. Great ball carries, which included him scoring the opening try, a perfect 10-0 record at line-out time and won a breakdown penalty.

1 Tendai Mtawarira
A mobile display, highlighted by his centre-like show and go.


16 Bismarck du Plessis (on for Strauss, 49th minute)
Brought his trademark physicality and worked hard on defence but saw two of his line-out throws being stolen.

17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (on for Mtawarira, 53rd minute)
Held up his end at scrum time and made all his tackles.

18 Coenie Oosthuizen (on for J du Plessis, 66th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

19 Juandré Kruger (on for Van der Merwe, 59th minute)
Squandered two line-out balls inside the attacking 22 with the Boks pushing for a bonus point.

20 Siya Kolisi (on for Alberts, 59th minute)
Burst on to the pitch but ultimately didn’t quite make the impact the coaches would have hoped for with just three carries and three tackles and he conceded a penalty.

21 Ruan Pienaar
Not used.

22 Pat Lambie (on for Kirchner, 77th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.

23 Jan Serfontein (on for Engelbrecht, 57th minute)
An underwhelming cameo in which he struggled to assert his dominance with ball in hand and even came off second best in a collision involving Sitaleki Timani.

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. Boks really need to work on their ‘pick-n-go’ at pace… when they used it (albeit sluggish) they kept the Aussies on the back foot…

    They also need to work on their ‘drawing of opposition’ when on the attack with ball-in-hand… school boy stuff but in that second half with all the possession… they were repeating their 1/4 final antics of passing flat, side-to-side before drawing men… the two points above are why they failed to score the BP try… too predictable…

    And Habana needs to play on the right wing…

    Otherwise it’s hard to complain… it was a spanking despite the basketball antics in the second…

  2. In the first quarter or so commitment at the breakdown saw them get most of the possession …….. and then back to their old style of play – not competing for the ball, clogging up the line and defending.

    Are they not fit enough to play 80 min high tempo rugby? The AB’s are sure to bring it to Ellis Park.

  3. Still struggling to understand how a referee can shout “advantage over” and then with Habana intercepting blow his whistle and say not enough advantage was had?

    I am sorry, but this type of thing leaves a bad taste in the mouth and raises doubts on the integrity of referees.

  4. @Jacques(Bunny):

    Jip, must say I had to chuckle when the Ausies pushed the Bok scrum back when it was 8 against 7, and then high fived each other. Next scrum with full Bok complement their heads were shoved up their poephols.

  5. Oh Bullshit.
    FdP had a mediocre game as per his high standards.
    glad to see him back.
    The rest played like dumb bells.
    Two yellow cards, lots of puff and steam
    against a terrible Aussie side.
    One step I’m in the whole game.
    JDV is fkn hopeless .
    No great skills witnessed but
    A lot of basic skills missing.
    ja ja
    I’m sure bunny will do hoops about this kak
    But in reality as soon as the other side fronts up
    We have no basic skills and less ideas.

    We look like a good no 2 side.

  6. @bryce_in_oz:

    They also need to work on their ‘drawing of opposition’ when on the attack with ball-in-hand

    Is that also because the art of offloading
    has so far totally escaped them?

  7. Just wonder when will a Bok test win be enough?

    We have too much Supershit now everyone wants to play the Aussies way in test rugby

    Sorry but I do not see it Test rugby is not Supershit, same as test cricket is not this 20/20 shit that everyone goes for.

    Number 2 in the world beat the Number 4 in the world.

    Wonder what type of win will be good enough for some people

  8. Ja.
    Watch the game as opposed
    to,sitting getting dronk.

    We could have racked up,at,least 50
    But no.
    Too many buzzwords
    and fokkol ballskills

  9. @Duiwel:

    My point exactly. And we could have had a
    chance of winning the trophy by simply
    beating the ABs with one point.

    But again we are happy to just win.
    This was the ideal opportunity to put 50
    over this bunch and score six tries or more.

    Fortunately it seems the captain and coach
    more or less agree with me = we were poor.

  10. @Boertjie: The two yellow cards prevented us again to play to our game plan, can you guys understand how much 20 min with 14 men means in test rugby.

    Our own fault yes that we had these two cards and we need to get this out of our game, two weeks in a row we got a yellow card for someone knocking down a ball.

    HM should be acting on this.

    Habana break should have gone on as the ref said advantage over and then blew up. Again a ref again a frog that can not communicate to players in English and even when players showed them his faults he ignore it.

    Again I am going to say it, at test level your mental game and structure plays the biggest role and if that starts failing due to yellow cards or just plain incompetent referees the game and both teams suffer.

    You can not play with 14 men in test rugby, and that was our only problem yesterday.

    Hope HM does something too Vermeulen as what he did was costing his team and it was just plain stupid.

  11. Some folks talk about ‘putting 50 past a team’ like it is a regular thing in test rugby.

    The best team in the world could only put 33 points against the 10th ranked team in the world this last weekend – even less when they faced them at home.

    The Boks have outscored the All Blacks on points, gave away less, and scored just as many tries as them.

    But hey, hopefully Meyer and JDV and his team can turn water into wine next week.

  12. @Boertjie:

    There is a difference in being poor and not being satisfied.

    So NO they do not agree with you.

    The Boks played some great rugby, just not for the whole 80 minutes. That is not a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    This team are showing the same signs as the 97/98 team. Not there yet, but they will get there. I for one am quite impressed with the general option taking.

  13. @Morné:

    Morne the AB’s did what they needed in phases against a team that almost beat the Boks in Arg…

    They a> weathered the storm, b> stepped up the action and most importantly c> secured a BP in the last minute to secure The Rugby Championship… so I’m not sure what you’re on about with the ‘out-scoring’ part?

    As for the rest… I doubt many on here expect a 50 pt pasting of Aus even when they’re woefully out-of-sorts… however with the AB’s being the barometer and with all that possession and territory heading into the final 10 minutes… it’s impossible not be ‘unhappy’ the Boks could not do what they ‘needed’ to do when winning the game simply isn’t enough.

    Using cards as an excuse for brainless backline play and impotent forward play in that last stanza is just not good enough.

    Unless one is happy being second best.

    It’s up to the entire team including coaches to rectify that this weekend.

    I’ll take a win against the ABs over the Championship any day…

  14. Fdup has a great 20 minutes but after that the team fell into the same old pattern.
    Clueless give the ball away kicking and sorry Fdup is not yet fit enough.

  15. Oh my hat, who would want suppoters like these??

    Last week we were all warned that this will not be the same Ausie team we klapped in Brisbane. Oh no, they will be better, they won’t just roll over and die. Their back three is oh so maginificant compared to their Bok plodding opposition.

    On Saturday we put 20 points on them, their all conquering backline filled with the type of magicians that give some of the folks on this site a hard-on with the superior way they supposedly play rugby, could score one try, one frakin try in 80 minutes during which they played 10 minutes against 14 men, and yet, still the Boks were kak, JdV is useless, blah blah blah.

    Yes the Boks could have, would have, should have played better for the full 80 minutes, but if we said at the start of the Championship we would beat Aus twice, once with a bonuspoint, we would have jumped up and taken it. Now it is not good enough. Wow, just wow.

  16. @Craven:

    Strange… I don’t see anywhere above that says the win “wasn’t good enough”… I only see criticisms of a> gifting yellow cards and b> some glaring inefficiencies that are holding them back…

  17. I have this horrible feeling that JDP is going to be punished on top of Flip… despite there being no mention of him being cited yet…

  18. Bring Bakkies back for a cameo!! That would be bloody AWESOME – he is playing his best rugby at the moment anyway!

    Been watching the Pro 12 as well over the weekend (been sick sohad time) but was not impressed. Top 14 is at a whole different level. Have not seen any Premier League rugby due to BT Sport having the rights this season and Sky only showing the crappy 2nd division games.

  19. 2013 have another 4 games for the Bokke and I would be very happy with 4 from 4 but how realistic is that?
    NZ this weekend is the toughest prospect followed by Wales in November 9th then Scotland (should be a win) and then France.

    Wales and France are not going to be easy but will we be ok with anything but 4 from 4? if not why not? Are we not being too hopeful considering Wales and France are away from home and on their day can beat anyone?!

  20. One could argue that a worse bok team (what with all the hype around this one) and a worse coach in 2008 did put 50 past arguably a better more settled Oz team.

  21. @Jacques(Bunny):

    Oz had to play those same rules in 2008. The game is arguably more open today.

    I think ob the whole Meyer is given a fair chance to prove himself while White and Divs was more heavily scrutinized yet the facts are that we are maybe just not that flash. Oz are poor but that makes us any better than we were at any time over the past 6 years.