It is bitterly disappointed to loose a test like this when you so far ahead with minutes to play.
It is one of those that could have and should have been but was not.
With the Springboks dominating play on the scoreboard and with the stats with 10 minutes to go, it should have been a double for them against the All Blacks.
Here is the highlights of the test
Here is how we saw the players in this test…
15. Willie Le Roux (9)
In his 50th test for the Springboks Le Roux has shown yet again we do not have any better in the number fifteen jumper. What makes him so great is his reading of the game and his pin point passing and decision making. Should have been rewarded with a win. Went off at a crucial time for concussion test.
14 Cheslin Kolbe – (5)
Kolbe scored an important try for the Boks and stood up in defence but was quit for the rest of it all.
13.Jesse Kriel (7)
Had one of his best test for the Boks, was brilliant in the try he scored and won the midfield battle hands down.
12.Damian de Allende: (6)
Same as Kriel winning the battle against Williams and Crotty on the night and ran the perfect line from a Kolisi offload. Can do more on creating space but suspect he was playing according to coach plan.
11. Aphiwe Dyantyi (5)
He was a marked man and made a few mistakes under pressure. Did not get many chances from his midfield to show his class.
10. Handre Pollard (7)
Thought Handre had a good game, when he was the first receiver he got over the advantage line. We need Handre more as first receiver to get him in his natural game. Kicking game has improve a hell of a lot and kicking to poles brilliant again.
9. Faf de Klerk(9)
Pick up one mistake in the whole game, was all over Smith again and won the battle hands down. His tactical kicking was brilliant on the night and injury force substitution hurt the Boks at the end.
8. Francois Louw (6)
Came back in the Boks team this week and had a solid game but did not give us that extra bit we needed.
7. Pieter-Steph du Toit: (8)
Another pure heart performance from the big man smashing the All Blacks back at times although big spill on halftime…and giving a crucial penalty away at the end that led to a All Black try
Had a hard working game but again pop too many times up in the backline just to make some poor decisions on attack. Had strong runs and missed a few tackle as well.
5. Franco Mostert: (6)
Had a really quit game at his own standards. Was not as prominent but we all know he does the hard work in the dark places
4. Eben Etzebeth(6)
Another strong game from the big man, made some great runs with ball in hand and stole a few at lineout time. Did give away a few penalties
3. Frans Malherbe (5)
Was ok in the scrums and did not really did much more, still do not believe he is the best we have at number 3
2.Malcolm Marx (8)
Just a class player all over the field and were great in the scrums and lineouts. He was again a monster on the ground with a few steals and manage to slow down the All Blacks ball.
Steven Kitshoff: (6)
Not the normal huge impact we expect from the big man. He scrummed well and was on hand with supporting runs and defended well again.
Man of the Match
Was a very close call between Willie and Faf so I am giving it to them both.
Willie deserve it not just because it was his 50th test but because he was again the force in the backline for the Springboks.
He is not just the brains in the attacking system but has also been the force on attack for the Springboks this year…..
A lot was said after the match about the subs Erasmus made at the end, here is his explanation on these subs at a crucial stage of the test….
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says Willie le Roux and Faf de Klerk’s substitutions in the loss to the All Blacks were injury-enforced.
Erasmus explained that his hand was forced with regards to the changes at fullback and scrumhalf. Damian Willemse replaced Le Roux while Embrose Papier came on for De Klerk.
‘Why did I make the substitutions? Because people have been asking me to give the other guys [such as Willemse and Papier] a chance,’ the Bok coach joked, before relaying his reasons.
‘Willie got a concussion and failed his HIA. Faf was cramping. So that was two swaps at the same time, with two big decision-makers coming off.