Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


Springbok player ratings against All Blacks in Ellis Park Test

Damian Willemse and Lukhanyo Am enjoyed good outings in the match at Ellis Park.


The All Blacks hit back in the second Rugby Championship Test against the Springboks at Ellis Park on Saturday, winning 35-23.

Ian Foster’s New Zealand team scored four tries to the two by Jacques Nienaber’s Boks.

Here’s how I rated the Bok players, out of 10.

Damian Willemse – 8: The fullback is the most improved Bok player at this level by a long shot. He received a yellow card early on for interfering with an All Blacks attack, but he was superb in everything he did, especially after moving to centre when Jesse Kriel went off. He pulled off a number of tackles (14 – the most by the Boks) and was full of attacking intent. His distribution was also top-notch.

Jesse Kriel: Not rated. The winger went off early after suffering a bad head knock and didn’t return.

Lukhanyo Am – 8: The world’s best centre – and best wing, too. He had to shift out wide early on after Kriel departed, but that was no problem for the star midfielder. He scored a superb try, broke several tackles on a number of occasions out wide, and ran with pace and power. A truly impressive showing once again.

Damian de Allende – 6: Carried strongly on a number of occasions and broke a few tackles, but never had the impact like he normally does. Made some key tackles, but also missed a few on this occasion.

Makazole Mapimpi – 7: The winger scored a great try moments after being denied one, and remains a key man for the Boks. Full of heart and energy, Mapimpi carried well and ran hard and he also made a few big tackles.

Handre Pollard – 7: The flyhalf’s goal-kicking was top-notch, knocked over a big kick from 55m out, while he was also accurate tactically. He, however, missed a tackle early on which cost the Boks, and he never really threatened with the ball in hand.

Jaden Hendrikse – 6: He generally kicked well out of hand, his up-and-unders very accurate, but he will need to add some variety to his game to be a genuine threat.

Duane Vermeulen – 6: The veteran star enjoyed a quiet return to the Test team and was replaced after just 35 minutes. He took the kick-off well and carried strongly, but had little influence on the game.

Pieter-Steph du Toit – 7: The blindside flank is slowly getting back to his best. He enjoyed a busy game, with a few good runs, an intercept which nearly led to a try, some lineout takes and a few big tackles. He also missed a few tackles.

Siya Kolisi – 6: The skipper was surprisingly taken off 10 minutes into the second half. He didn’t really make an impact with ball in hand or on the ground, but he pulled off a few key tackles.

Lood de Jager – 7: The big lock was a busy man with a number of lineout takes and a number of tackles (13 – the most by the forwards). He didn’t have an impact as a ball-carrier and went off after 51 minutes.

Eben Etzebeth – 6: For the second week in a row the big lock just wasn’t his usual self. He took his lineout ball and made nine tackles, but he never got a chance to carry his team over the gainline.

Frans Malherbe – 8: The man who celebrated 50 Tests had another big game, for the time he was on. He made a whopping 12 tackles and won his team a few scrum penalties.

Joseph Dweba – 3: It was sadly not the best day for the hooker. He gave away a free-kick in the first scrum, missed his lineout jumpers and threw in skew on a few occasions. Only lasted 30 minutes before being replaced.

Ox Nche – 6: The loosehead prop didn’t make much of an impact, though he scrummed well and pulled off a few big tackles.

Malcolm Marx – 7: Didn’t have the impact he had in Mbombela, but still a good outing after coming on in the 30th minute. Mostly found his jumpers, made a number of tackles (11) and won a turn-over that resulted in Mapimpi scoring a try.

Steven Kitshoff – 7: The loosehead prop came on before half-time and made a telling impact with eight tackles during his time on the field. Scrummed well.

Vincent Koch – 6: Came on early in the second half and scrummed well and made a few tackles, but it was a quiet performance from the tighthead.

Franco Mostert – 7: The utility bench-sitter made a few telling tackles after entering the action in the second half and he also took a few lineout balls. Brought energy to the Boks.

Jasper Wiese – 8: He came on before half-time in place of Vermeulen and enjoyed another strong outing. He carried well on a number of occasions, getting his side over the gainline and also tackled strongly.

Kwagga Smith – 6: The versatile loose forward had a quiet game after getting his chance in the second half; he made a few tackles but had little impact.

Herschel Jantjies: Not rated, came on late in the game.

Willie le Roux – 7: He came on early for Kriel and enjoyed a solid outing; made a number of good passes, including for Am’s try, his positional play was good and he kicked well.

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