Du Preez the pearler in Perth

Keo.co.za brings you the Springbok player ratings from the Tri-Nations Test in Perth.

Player ratings out of 10:

15 Ruan Pienaar – 6
Solid showing from the utility man. Didn’t provide the attacking spark Peter de Villiers would have hoped for, though. Kicked accurately enough, but did nothing to suggest he’s a better option than Frans Steyn.

14 JP Pietersen – 6
Some early defensive errors and a shocking kick that eventually led to the Aussies’ first try, but improved as the contest progressed. Was subbed 15 minutes from time with a hamstring injury that could prove serious.

13 Jaque Fourie – 7
Ran a great line to earn the Springboks their second try and went looking for work in broken play. Also proved an imposing defensive force as the South Africans rushed the Aussies at the scrums.

12 Jean de Villiers – 7
Powerful and penetrative. Always gained ground when he attacked the space between Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper which kept the Bok machine rolling forward. His chase on Fourie du Preez’s kick forced Peter Hynes to err, allowing Bryan Habana to retrieve a loose ball and score.

11 Bryan Habana – 7
Defended solidly and was determined to stay involved. Fought to make yards with ball in hand, and took his first try well. Dropped a ball over the tryline, but made amends seconds later when he rounded off a beautiful backline move.

10 Morné Steyn – 6
Missed two shots at goal including an absolute sitter, but it was a game where goal-kicking accuracy was not required. Had a hand in the first two tries, delivering a decisively flat ball to Jaque Fourie in the second. Some nice touches, but not as dominant as in previous games.

9 Fourie du Preez – 9
The Springbok kingpin was at his accurate best in this fixture. Slick service from the base of the ruck ensured the Boks attacked with speed, and a pin-point kicking game had the Aussies under huge pressure. Showed good vision to score the first try and created South Africa’s third with a high bomb that Lachie Turner bumbled. Class.

8 Pierre Spies – 6
Crossed the advantage line when the Bok scrum went forward, but struggled when the tight-five were under pressure. Mixed some good carries with elementary errors like a dropped high ball. Needs to be more consistent.

7 Juan Smith – 7
The Boks’ best forward, and the shiner he sported on his departure will tell you why. Tackled ferociously and obliterated would be tacklers with a direct running style. A dependable target at the back of the lineout, he also managed to steal a couple off the Aussies’ throw.

6 Heinrich Brüssow – 6
The breakdown wasn’t as decisive as expected, and so Brussow wasn’t a massive factor.

5 Victor Matfield – 6
The mastermind of the lineout had a fantastic first half, but was less effective in the second when Botha departed. Also missed a tackle that resulted in the Aussies’ final try.

4 Bakkies Botha – 7
Some good lineout takes, strong mauling and attack-snuffling tackling. What else would anybody expect?

3 John Smit – 6
The Bok captain carried the ball strongly and was aggressive in initiating the counter-ruck at the breakdown, but was nailed by referee Bryce Lawrence at the scrum.

2 Bismarck du Plessis – 6
A solid showing from the belligerent Bok No 2, but not as physically imposing as we’ve come to expect.

1 Beast Mtawarira – 6
Like Smit, was penalised heavily by Lawrence at the scrum. Otherwise, it was another industrious performance around the park from one of the Boks’ most hard-working players.

16 Chiliboy Ralepelle -
Not on long enough to be rated.

17 Jannie du Plessis -
Not on long enough to be rated.

18 Andries Bekker – 6
Some strong carries and defensive hits, but it was the latter that resulted in an injury. From the pain evident on his face, he could miss the next game with a shoulder problem.

19 Schalk Burger – 7
Was omnipresent at ruck-time throwing himself at the opposition with characteristic gusto. Smith got through a lot of work in the first 60, and Burger ensured the Boks lost nothing with his substitution.

20 Ricky Januarie -
Not on long enough to be rated.

21 Adi Jacobs – 5
Forced a knock on when he chased a Fourie du Preez kick and spilled one ball himself, but didn’t really receive many opportunities.

22 Frans Steyn -
Not on long enough to be rated.

By Jon Cardinelli