Smith soars in Bok bonanza

Juan Smith was sensational against England, but Andre Pretorius deserves a medal for saving his international career.

Here’s how we rated the Boks emphatic win against hapless and hopeless England.

6 – He again showed courage in whatever he did. Was not involved as much as he could have, but defensively stood up to the English kicking game.

5 – The ball just never went his way. He made his tackles.

7 – One of his best displays. He broke the line once with wonderful footwork and defended very well.

De Villiers
7 – Far more maturity in his decision-making. He ran strongly and tackled well. He did score this weekend, but somehow the TMO ruled it out. Good leadership of the backs and a strong comeback after last week’s disappointment.

5 – Tried to get into the game and was more active off the ball, but seldom had the space that makes him so dangerous. Gave away early penalties by being over eager and was also shown up defensively under the high ball. He had a disappointing tour.

8 – Defensively strong, tactically very good with his kicking off both feet and for once the general in this battle. He dictated where the game would be played and just how it was to be played. Fantastic effort.

8 – His best game since 2004. He troubled England all day, got in their face defensively and tactically his kicking game was better than it has ever been. Like Pretorius he was very impressive.

8 – The selection proved an inspiring one from Jake White. Rossouw’s strength from the base of the scrum troubled England and he gave the Boks momentum. He was the most consistent player of the tour.

9 – The best loose-forward display this season from a Bok. He showed how much he means to this unit and how premature Muppit talk was of preferring Pierre Spies to him post the Tri Nations.

8 – To arrive in England on Monday and produce this kind of display shows just how wrong the selectors got it initially. He slotted into test rugby as if he’d been there for the last few years. He gave the loose-trio balance and there are more players in South Africa, in other positions, who could add a dimension to the Bok squad. This should be a lesson that it is never too late to pick a player in form.

7 – His best test for South Africa. In other matches he has been a figure of solidity. On Saturday he was more than that.

7 – He completed a very good tour with a very solid performance. The conditions here suit his game and he is a good back-up option to Bakkies Botha.

8 – It was ironic that on the day Cobus Visagie opted to play for the World XV instead of the Springboks in next week’s match, a young home grown talent should make such a telling impact at Twickenham. Botha has improved with every match and now is the best tighthead in South Africa.

7 – A big game from a man under as much pressure as his coach. To calm a young team, when down 14-3, took quality leadership and he too bounced back from last week’s implosion. Very active around the park.

Van der Linde
7 – Playing out of position at loosehead he help up well, but it was his general performance that was most encouraging. He scored one of the famous prop tries.

Team performance
8 – It was the best second 40 the Boks have played for some time. They were in control and they played down the clock superbly. They looked well captained and well coached in the second 40. Admittedly England were bereft of any ideas, but this should not detract from what was a very good Bok victory.