Even after a few hours sleep I struggle to get myself to feel happy about the win against the French last night.
For the better part of 60 minutes we saw the same tactics as what we saw for most of the match against England.
Luckily for us this time around we started playing some rugby earlier than 5 minutes before the end of the test.
I do not understand why coaches from Southern Hampshire sides believes they need to revert to a kicking game when they play up north.
The All Blacks, Australia and the Springboks play our best rugby when we speed up the game and play on the front foot. When we do speed up the game our tactical kicking game also comes to the front.
Last week it was Van Zyl who could not execute Erasmus kick and pray game plan and this week De Klerk did exactly the same.
What I struggle with is that it take us 60 minutes last night to realise it.
Thanks to Pollard boot and some luck the Boks were able to steal this one at the end but we made it so difficult for themselves in the process of doing so.
Our defence was shady to say the least, our scrums were not firing on all cylinders, especially in the second half.
Kolisi must be a very worried man. He faded away again in the test and had no impact. De Allende was also a disappointment after a great game last week against the English.
He missed 3 tackles in the first 5 minutes of the test and had no impact at the back.
While De Klerk was kicking all the ball away we sat with Le Roux, Nkosi and Dyantyi wondering what they were doing in the cold.
At least Marx founded his groove again at lineout time and also stolen a few ball on the ground for good measure.
They can hand Pieter Steph Du Toit the man of the match every time he walks on the field for the Boks. The amount of work the man does is just unbelievable.
We also needs to mention the subs. All of them were instrumental in the actual win.
Here’s how I rated the Boks
Willie Le Roux: 6
Willie did not get the opportunities to do his magic due to some poor execution and game plan. When the Boks finally got going he became instrumental in the fight back. Still say that that pass was not forward.
S’bu Nkosi: 5
Score another try for the Springboks but also made a huge error in the second half that led to the French second try.
Jesse Kriel: 6
Jesse was in the same boat as the rest of the outside back getting starved from the ball by his own players. When had the ball he was full of running and were solid in defence.
Damian de Allende: 3
As good as he was last week, as poor he was this week. He had no impact with ball in hand and his defence was poor. When he did get the ball he went dead with it which is not what we needed. When Pollard moved to inside center the Boks started to play better.
Aphiwe Dyantyi: 5
Had a quite game but made his tackles and were good on scramble defence.
He came into the line a few times but again did not get too many ball from too much kicking from his 9 and 10.
Handre Pollard: 6.5
Was solid with the boot and had a few good runs. He was in control of his game and even step up when he moved to the midfield. Much better than the average showing against England
Faf De Klerk: 3
I really thought we would see better than we saw from Van Zyl last week but it was the same poor execution and play from Faf. De Klerk play much better when he is on the front foot getting the ball out. Really poor performance from De Klerk on the night.
Warren Whiteley: 5
Was wondering if he was actually was on the park at one stage. He seems to fade away again this week. Do know if this combination between him. Vermeulen and Kolisi really works.
Duane Vermeulen: 7
Much better from Thor this week. He was massive in defence and had a few strong runs as well. He win turnovers and is clearly playing better even with the short hair and no beard. He was good at number 7 but even stepped up when he moved to number 8 later in the match
Siya Kolisi: 3
This tour is not turning out to be a good one for Kolisi. His play has gone down as is his work-rate. He seems to be popping up at the wrong places at the wrong time. Two poor performances from Kolisi so far on tour.
Pieter-Steph du Toit: 7.5
What a player, everything he touch this year is turning to gold. He was good at lock but came to his own when he was moved to the side of the scrum in the second half. It is not just his tackling rate but the power he puts in these tackles which leads to turnovers and possession for the Boks. Best player on the park again.
Franco Mostert: 7
Massive game from Franco as he stepped into the team. He brought some calmness to Marx at lineout time and were like a demon on defence and with ball in hand. Five star performance from him in the lineouts.
Frans Malherbe: 5
He scrummed, did his bit in the lineouts, did his bit in defence, not one of my favourites at the moment as he brings nothing extra for me.
Malcolm Marx: 6.5
The way we want to see Marx play every weekend for the Boks. He found his locks at lineouts, was good in the scrums and got into the rucks and also stole some ball as well for good measure. Day and night difference from last week test.
Steven Kitshoff: 6
Was a more quieter game from the big man but he adds to this Boks side in all aspect of his game. Now just to find him the right prop partner.
Francois Louw 8
I know I am over doing it but this was the best 15 minutes I have seen Flo play in years. He made an immediate impact when he came on. He made the most crucial turnover with a minute to go on the Springboks try line which led to the Bongi try.
Arsh of the week
My Arsh of the week goes to Rassie. Two weeks in a row I am struggling to make sense out of Rassies tactics.
Luckily for us he made some subs earlier than last week which change the shape of the test. Clearly Rassie must see now that the Springboks does not need to change our game when we are up north.
Here is the highlights…