Wikus bound for Paris

Wikus van Heerden stood tallest in Sydney. Keo, in the Sunday Argus, rates the Boks and Wallabies.

Australia

Julian Huxley
7: His best match of the Tri Nations. Sound positional play and withstood the one-dimensional Bok aerial kicking attack.

Mark Gerrard
7: Troubled the Boks and consistently looked good with ball in hand.

Stirling Mortlock
6: Created Australia’s first try with clever decoy running and invariably got over the advantage line. He exposed the frailty of the Bok backs.

Matt Giteau
6: Showed good skill for his try but was inconsistent with his accuracy in the first half.

Adam Ashley-Cooper
6: Limited opportunities, but kept the defence busy when he got the ball.

Stephen Larkham
6: He’ll take the win but it wasn’t the most polished performance in his 100th test.

George Gregan
6: Controlled his pack well, but should have had a greater impact with the good quality ball he received in the last hour.

Stephen Hoiles
6: Solid performance, but lacked the physicality of the injured Wycliff Palu.

George Smith
7: Australia’s best forward. He was a menace at the breakdown and won crucial turnovers.

Rocky Elsom
6: He matched the Boks physicality, but was one dimensional on attack.

Dan Vickerman
6: He has improved with every test this year after a six month injury-enforced absence. His was a controlled performance without it being imposing.

Nathan Sharpe
6: Secure on his own lineout ball and worked hard in the tight exchanges. He threw one shocking pass that cost seven points.

Guy Shepherdson
6: He competed well at scrum time and was busy in the loose.

Adam Freier
5: His scrumming remains questionable. He is effective when the game opens up, but goes missing in tight situations.

Matt Dunning
5: Stood his ground well in the scrums, but his performance against the Boks in Cape Town was more impressive.

Subs
Sean Hardman
5: Replaced Freier for the last 20 but did not make an impact.
Al Baxter
5: Also introduced into the front row in the last 20 minutes, he could not add grunt to the Wallabies pack.
Hugh McMeniman
5: He replaced Elsom, but what Australia gained in athleticism they lost in physicality.
David Lyons
Not on long enough
Phil Waugh
Only used in last five minutes
Scott Staniforth
Only used in last two minutes
Drew Mitchell
Only used in last two minutes

South Africa
Bevin Fortuin
5: No attacking opportunities and rarely involved himself in the game.

Breyton Paulse
6: Scored an intercept try and used every bit of his 63test experience to defensively control his flank. Spirited performance.

Waylon Murray
5: No attacking chances and defensively fell off a few tackles.

Wynand Olivier
5: Struggled because of Derick Hougaard’s defensive vulnerability on his inside. On attack he was a non-factor.

JP Pietersen
5: He never backed himself to take on the Australian defence and his limited kicking game was exposed.

Derick Hougaard
4: Probably played himself out of the World Cup squad. He missed three crucial kicks, limited the attacking potential and was an organizational liability on defence.

Ruan Pienaar
6: He was the best of a very poor Bok backline effort. His kicking game was outstanding in the first quarter, but as Australia got momentum, so too did his impact wane.

Bob Skinstad
7: He led the side courageously and underlined his squad value for the World Cup. Left the field in the 63rd minute with a rib injury.

Pedrie Wannenburg
6: Physically strong in the contact, but the game did not allow for him to be forceful on attack.

Wikus van Heerden
8: The best of the Boks on the night. He got the early try and he matched openside specialist George Smith at the breakdown.

Johann Muller
5: Poor discipline in throwing a punch at a time when the Boks threatened a late comeback. Applied himself well in the first half, but fell away in the last 20.

Johan Ackermann
4: Went into the match with an injury concern and it showed. He was subbed after 30 minutes and that could be it for him at test level.

Jannie Du Plessis
5: Tough introduction to test rugby and he struggled to get into the game.

Gary Botha
6: Passionate performance and he was the most forceful of the tight five. Performed admirably when he had to go to flank. His yellow card proved costly with Australia scoring a try while he was off.

CJ van der Linde
6: He tried to add fire to the Bok effort and played through the pain of injury, but his value is definitely as an impact player.

Subs
Bismarck du Plessis
5: He introduced hustle and bustle, but he was not as good as Botha had been in the earlier stages. Showed good determination on attack, but botched a possible try in last minute by not offloading to Paulse on his inside.

Eddie Andrews
Not on for long enough

Albert van den Berg
5: A decade after Australia exposed his inability to hold his defensive line, he is still doing it. He cost the Boks a try on defence and never made it up.

Jacques Cronjé
5: He did as well as could be expected, given his form of late and his late introduction into the game.

Michael Claassens
Only played the last five minutes.
Peter Grant
Only played the last five minutes.
Jaco Pretorius
Not used.