Chiliboy, Frans best of average Boks

Keo.co.za rates the Springboks in the third Test at Ellis Park.

Ratings out of 10:

15 Zane Kirchner (5) – Good positional sense and anticipation, and never let the side down. But made the poor decision to kick when he had an overlap in the 2nd minute, and knocked on when trying to offload a pass 7m from the tryline.

14 Odwa Ndungane (5) – His performance was a blend of the good and ordinary, and it’s arguable whether he has the pace to play Test rugby.

13 Jaque Fourie (5) – Defensively solid, but fairly anonymous throughout the Test on attack. His cause wasn’t aided by the fact that his forwards were struggling, which in turn affected the inside backs’ ability to craft space for him.

12 Wynand Olivier (5) – Few attacking opportunities because of the Lions’ dominance up front, but didn’t disappoint with those he did have. Sadly, he’ll be remembered as the player who threw the pass which Ugo Monye intercepted to score from.

11 Jongi Nokwe (5) – The ball just didn’t travel to his wing, but he didn’t look for work either.

10 Morne Steyn (5) – Scored all the Boks’ points, but was relatively disappointing, even if he didn’t receive the best ball. Should have varied his play more.

9 Fourie du Preez (6) – Considering that he was playing behind an inferior pack, he still did well. His option-taking under pressure was good, and his positional sense excellent. Unfortunately injured and substituted at half-time. The Springboks missed his experience.

8 Ryan Kankowski (4) – He should have done better considering the style of rugby the Boks attempted to play. Improved slightly in the second half, but still very ineffective.

7 Juan Smith (6) – Excellent in defence and a strong ball carrier. One of the few forwards to do well.

6 Heinrich Brussow (6) – Anonymous in the first half, with limited impact at the breakdown, but good thereafter. Also made a crucial turnover in the 44th minute, 2m out from goal.

5 Victor Matfield (5) – His threat at the lineout was nullified by smart work from the Lions, and made no telling contribution in the loose.

4 Johann Muller (5) – An ordinary performance. Struggled when asked to play the role of enforcer, but unrelenting on defence.

3 John Smit (5) – Tackled manfully all game, and carried the ball powerfully. But his decision to take the points with his side 22-6 down with 12 minutes to play was perplexing to say the least.

2 Chiliboy Ralepelle (7) – Oh the boy was great for 40 minutes before injury ruled him out of the match at half-time. Powerful on both attack and defence and accurate at lineout time. Superb effort.

1 Beast Mtawarira (6) – Struggled against Phil Vickery in the first half, but improved in the second. His defence was sound and when he carried he did so well.

Subs

16 Bismarck du Plessis (6) – Injected physicality into the side when he came on, and strengthened the scrum. But his discipline remains a concern, seen by his late hit on Stephen Jones which cost the Boks three points at a crucial time of the match.

17 Gurthro Steenkamp – Not on for long enough to be rated.

18 Deon Carstens – Not used.

19 Steven Sykes – Not used.

20 Pierre Spies (5) – Came on at left wing in one of Peter de Villiers’ most puzzling moves to date, and was all power and no finesse. It’s not his fault he gets a 5.

21 Ruan Pienaar (4) – Slow service from the breakdown and he often ran laterally, closing his flyhalf’s space. Clearly rusty having not played at No 9 for some time.

22 Frans Steyn (7) – Strengthened the argument of those who believe fullback to be his best position. Ran hard from the back and broke the gain line every time. However, an excellent performance was soured by his riling of Lions fans when Ndungane crossed late in the game. He had egg on his face when the try was disallowed, and he has to grow up.

By Ryan Vrede, at Ellis Park.