Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

A season of highs and lows for the Boks in the Rugby Championship

The Boks will be buoyed by their finish to the tournament, with three wins coming on the trot.

It was a competition of highs and lows for the Springboks as they just missed out on clinching the Rugby Championship title on the final day on Saturday, after their 38-21 win over Argentina wasn’t enough to overhaul the All Blacks.

With the top two sides finishing the tournament on four wins each, it came down to bonus points and points difference to separate them, with the Boks finishing just a point off the All Blacks, but also well behind their points difference.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on the title, it was a relatively successful tournament, and a strong finish to it definitely bodes well for the Boks going into a tough end of year tour.

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 The highs of the Boks Rugby Championship campaign included dominant wins, a solid finish, and a number of young players impressing.

Each one of the Boks four wins in the competition was emphatic, as they made sure to win comfortably when they did, with wins over the All Blacks in Mbombela, Australia in Sydney and Argentina in Buenos Aires all coming by 16 points, while they ended off with a 17 point win over Argentina in Durban.

The team will also be buoyed by their finish, with three wins coming on the trot and they can take that momentum into their end of year tour, where they face the top two ranked teams in the world, Ireland and France on their home turf.

A number of players made their Bok debut this season, while a few of them ended up becoming standouts, with Jasper Wiese probably establishing himself as the first choice eighthman over Duane Vermeulen, while Canan Moodie and Kurt-Lee Arendse made waves with eye catching performances.

A couple of lows

The Boks then had a couple of lows including two disappointing losses and senior players underperforming.

Both the Boks losses, at Ellis Park and in Adelaide, they were favourites for, but dismal performances saw them comfortably beaten, with the Ellis Park loss against the All Blacks proving costly as that was arguably where they lost the Rugby Championship.

Senior players such as Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk and to a lesser extent Frans Steyn have been largely underperforming and that will be of some concern to the Bok management.

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