Big Vic stands tall
8 Aug 2009
Keo.co.za brings you the Springbok player ratings from their Test against Australia at Newlands.
Ratings out of 10:
15 Frans Steyn 5
Negated a clear try-scoring chance when the Boks had the overlap when he didn’t draw and pass and shut down Bryan Habana’s space. Tends to hold on too long when the player outside should be given the ball. Missed one long-range penalty, and put a couple of kicks directly into touch. Didn’t use opportunities to counter when the Austalian chase was poor, was subbed after an hour and wasn’t one of his better games in the No 15 jersey.
14 JP Pietersen 6
Has made many try-saving tackles in the past but an elementary miss on Adam Ashley-Cooper for the opening score was a poor effort. Good work off the ball in chasing kicks and showed what he could with ball in hand do late in the game with a powerful run.
13 Jaque Fourie 6
With Mortlock off after 30 minutes would have been hoping to test the visitors’ defence more. Solid cover defence and was also instrumental in the chasing of kicks.
12 Jean de Villiers 7
Used well as a ball-carrier and made some incisive breaks through the midfield. Showed great pace to chase down a kick that pressure the Australians. Also stood up well to the Wallaby forward runners.
11 Bryan Habana 7
Exhibited good basics and had one searing break from his own half, while he was also heavily involved in the move before half-time that should have seen the second Bok try.
10 Morne Steyn 7
Seven from eight for another notable 24-point haul, which included a drop-goal that was the right option with little else on. Missed only his third attempt at goal in a Bok jersey. Kicked direct to touch once, but other than that good tactical use of the boot, and his up and unders were spot on. Showed his versatility when he moved to fullback for the final quarter.
9 Fourie du Preez 7
Took a huge knock in the air from Matt Giteau that saw the Wallaby flyhalf sin binned late in the opening half. Sums up the scenario so well and was again pivotal in the Boks’ success.
8 Pierre Spies 7
Good carries and broke the line and was tackled inches short of the try-line in the last move of the first half, but then spilled the ball. Great positional play to save a try after James O’Connor’s counter and grubber.
7 Juan Smith 7
Injured his ankle after 18 minutes, and looked like would be leaving the field. Put in a great hit on Ashley-Cooper that led to the turnover for Victor Matfield’s score. Solid defence, good carries and had the ball in his hand on many occasions, before leaving the pitch after 53 minutes.
6 Heinrich Brussow 8
The Boks won numerous turnovers early on, not solely from Brussow, but he set the tone at the breakdown. Brilliant cover tackle on Luke Burgess when the Australian No 9 looked like he could set up a try, and his steal at the ruck after tackling Stirling Mortlock set up the opportunity for Morne Styen’s drop. Won another penalty at the breakdown that should have led to a Bok try just before the half-time siren sounded. Was being such a nuisance Robbie Deans opted to bring on David Pocock and adopt a dual fetcher system, while George Smith was clearly frustrated at Brussow’s efforts when he was sin binned late in the encounter.
5 Victor Matfield 9
Was solid at kick-offs, and was instrumental in stealing three Australian lineouts in the middle of the first half and ensured the visitors were never comfortable in this area. Great support play to finish off the Boks’ only try, while he also set up the final attack of the first half with his quick tap. Celebrated his 50th Test alongside Bakkies Botha with a Man of the Match effort.
4 Bakkies Botha 7
Defence around the fringes was abrasive as always and Berrick Barnes will be sore in the morning after a massive hit from Botha in the ribs. Also stole ball at the lineout and was his usual intimidating presence around the park.
3 John Smit 8
The Bok captain struggled against Benn Robinson in the Super 14 and handled the Australian loosehead well, although the Boks scrum was placed under pressure as the match wore on. Great left-footed grubber for Matfield’s try and one storming run late in the first half where he bounced off two would-be tacklers. Also showed his versatility by moving to loosehead late on.
2 Bismarck du Plessis 6
Isolated himself at times when carrying, but throwing in at the lineouts was again solid. Not as impressive as the past two weekends against the All Blacks, but another solid outing.
1 Beast Mtawarira 6
A few powerful drives around the field, but would have been hoping to place Al Baxter under more pressure at scrum-time.
16 Chiliboy Ralepelle
17 Jannie du Plessis 5
On for Mtawarira late in the match and while he did his job at the set-pieces, his hands let him down too many times for this level.
18 Andries Bekker
Not enough time to be judged.
19 Danie Rossouw 6
On for Smith with 27 minutes to go and put in some surging carries.
20 Ricky Januarie
Not enough time to be judged
21 Ruan Pienaar 6
Came on with 20 minutes to go in place of Frans Steyn but was quiet.
22 Adi Jacobs
Not enough time to be judged.
By Grant Ball, at Newlands