Smit, Jacobs feel the heat

John Smit and Adi Jacobs were the big losers in keo.co.za’s Bok player ratings.

15. Zane Kirchner (6)
Continues to blow hot and cold at Test level, but kicked well out of hand.

14. JP Pietersen (5)
Was all but anonymous apart from one kick-and-chase in the last minute of the game.

13. Jaque Fourie (8)
Named the official Man of the Match. Made a couple of strong runs in the first quarter before scoring a simple try after good work from Bryan Habana. Solid on defence.

12. Adi Jacobs (4)
Got over the advantage line a couple of times early on, but was embarrassed on defence when Sergio Parisse ran straight over him. His failure to hold his line also resulted in Italy’s try and he threw a poor pass behind Fourie that allowed Italy to get back inside Bok territory.

11. Bryan Habana (8)
Scored an easy try after Ryan Kankowksi’s break, and played a key role in both Fourie and Fourie du Preez’s tries. Looked for work when the ball didn’t come his way and was good defensively.

10. Morné Steyn (5)
Had an average day with the boot, missing two first-half penalties and a conversion before finding his radar in the second half. His pin-point up-and-unders put Italy under pressure but he missed one kick for touch.

9. Fourie du Preez (8)
Rounded off a good Bok try in the second half that all but sealed the win and then sent Wynand Olivier over late in the game. His tactical kicking was, as usual, superb.

8. Ryan Kankowski (7)
Made the step inside and offload that sent Habana away for his try and was good in the loose, although he could have made more of a contribution at scrum time.

7. Danie Rossouw (7)
Had a quiet first half, knocking on inside Italy’s 22 when the Boks were on the attack. Made far more of an impact in the second, giving a brilliant under-the-arm pass that led to Du Preez’s try. Like Kankowski, he could have scrummed a bit harder rather than hanging off on occasion.

6. Heinrich Brüssow (8)
Was his usual self at the breakdown, making a crucial steal in the second quarter when Alessandro Zanni broke away from a scrum and was tackled just short of the Bok tryline.

5. Andries Bekker (7)
A solid lineout option for the Boks and competed well on Italy’s ball, stealing one against the throw. Made his presence felt in the loose, too.

4. Bakkies Botha (6)
A quiet game by his high standards.

3. John Smit (4)
Was outscrummed badly on four occasions (he popped out twice) and was mercifully moved to hooker when BJ Botha came on in the second half.

2. Adriaan Strauss (7)
Threw accurately at the lineouts and made a good contribution in the loose, but struggled at scrum time along with Smit and Wian du Preez.

1. Wian du Preez (6)
The Test debutant held his own against the highly-rated Martin Castrogiovanni (who was replaced at half-time) apart from one poor scrum, but went backwards twice in the second half.

Substitutes:

16. Beast Mtawarira (6)
The Bok scrum looked solid when he was on the park, although his arrival did coincide with that of BJ Botha.

17. BJ Botha (8)
Made an immediate impact when he was brought on in the second half, with the Bok scrum walking Italy backwards on one occasion. Surely he has to be a regular part of the Bok squad in 2010?

18. Victor Matfield (7)
Did well at lineout time after coming on for Botha, but nothing special.

19. Jean Deysel (7)
Gave a strong performance after replacing Kankowski.

20. Francois Hougaard (-)
Not on long enough to be rated.

21. Ruan Pienaar (6)
Made a good run with his first touch, but didn’t do much after that.

22. Wynand Olivier (7)
Scored his first Test try and did enough to put pressure on Jacobs.

By Simon Borchardt