Rhyno had a look at the Springbok last test on tour against Wales.
In the first few minutes of this game I had this feeling that this was going to end well and this was going to be a good day. Needless to say that this did not last long. My day was ruined with bad passes, players unable to catch a ball, aimless kicking and bad decision making by senior players in the team.
It seems like when the going gets tough the Boks revert back to the old “kick and chase” game plan, which might work if it is executed correctly but against Wales it did not work out.
For most of the game the Springboks were their own worst enemy, not taking anything away form Wales as they were right in the Boks faces in defence and in some cases probably forced the mistakes but the Boks made bad decisions and struggled to get momentum going. As soon as there is some form of continuity building, a bad pass get thrown or someone knocks the ball. The basic of rugby is what the Boks struggled with on Saturday.
Other than a few players that have put their hands and attempted to spark the fire(Kolbe, PSdT and occasionally Kriel and Le Roux), there was little to be positive about. We did however dominated at scrum time and I am still baffled that the Welsh were not penalised numerous times for popping up when the pressure came in the scrums.
On that note, I think the ref was below average. Not the reason we lost but there were numerous calls he missed like several offside plays by Wales and diving on players on the ground.
Lets hope our players get a decent break, keep the fitness up and work on their shortcomings and come back fresh next year. Although the ratings are average this week, the Boks are still moving in the right direction and building for the RWC and there is enough time to fine tune this squad.
Here’s how I rate the Boks:
Willie le Roux: 6 – Willie had 20 passes and showed that he likes to be in a position to make decisions. Quick pass that led to Kriel’s try in the corner shows his vision and ability to quickly read whats infront of him
Cheslin Kolbe 8 – We need another 2 or 3 players with the same energy that Cheslin brought to the game. Good in defence and even better in attack. He ran 75 meters with the ball and 12 defenders beaten, just superb.
Jessie Kriel 7 – Another solid display by Jessie. He will be even better if there is a 12 on his inside that can create a little space to Kriel to use his speed and power.
Damien De Allende 3 – If he was not involved in the try that was held up just before halftime I probably wouldn’t have known he was on the field. Only 3 runs and 3 passes. Not a good performance from Damien
Aphiwe Diyante 4 – Another quite game for Aphiwe and we starting to forget the explosiveness he possess, not necessarily his own doing as the ball tend not to always reach the wingers. Aphiwe needs to work on his defence as he missed 3 out of 4 tackles.
Handre Pollard 6 – Some decision making errors and questionable passing form Handre this game but he was again willing to take on the defenders and attacking the line. 4 defender beaten and 1 offload. I think his combination with Jantjies is not the right choice but with our 12 not firing today is was probably a good move.
Embrose Papier 7 – A good performance by Embrose with solid passing and a good line break down the left. You have to wonder what Rassie was thinking taking him off in the 50th minute. Still have the tendency to slow the ball down a bit too much.
Duane Vermeulen 7 – Another solid performance by Thor. Good runs but need to work on running onto the shoulder of the defender rather than trying to barge over them.
PSdT 8 – This guy seems to play his heart out every weekend. No surprises that he once again finished the game with the most tackles(16). Another solid performance
Siya Kolisi 5 – Had a much better game than his previous outings and had some decent runs with the ball and strong tackles like we are used to see from Siya. I’m still questioning his decision making as a captain, something that Rassie will have to address.
Franco Mostert 7 – Just like PSdT, a massive effort with 13 tackles made. Another asset in the team and even after a long season players like Franco seems to just keep going week in and week out.
RG Snyman – Wasn’t on the field long enough to give him a rating.
Frans Malherbe 5 – Did not do anything out of the ordinary. Was solid in the scrums. As mentioned in previous rating, he does not bring anything extra to the game.
Malcolm Marx 7 – Other than falling for a dummy that led to Wales scoring their first try, Malcolm had a solid performance on the field. Was good in defence and as usual forced several turnovers during the game.
Steven Kitshoff 7 – Scrummaging was good once again and had 5 runs with the ball in hand. Really cementing his position at number one for the Boks
Eben Etzebeth 7 – Just recovering from a calf injury and I’m sure he did not expect to be on the field this early in the game. Good run for Yster with a lot of carries, good line out work and showing his physical presence in defence and attack.
Ivan van Zyl 5 – I’m struggling to see positives in Ivan game. Passing is way too slow and his kicking is not accurate. Don’t think he is yet up to international standard.
Elton Jantjies 5 – Quite the opposite to Pollard in the sense that he plays a real flat game. Both numbers 10 will have to find a balance on when to play a bit deeper and when to attack the line. In general not a bad game by Jantjies but he struggle to transfer his form from SR to international level.
Arse of the week:
Kolisi for deciding to kick the ball from a free kick handing possession over to Wales rather than taking a scrum and keep ball in hand.