; Springbok player ratings: Champion Cheslin, but the rest … eish! – The Citizen

Springbok player ratings: Champion Cheslin, but the rest … eish!

Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa on attack during the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour match between Wales and South Africa at Principality Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa on attack during the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour match between Wales and South Africa at Principality Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

The diminutive winger takes full advantage of his unexpected start in Cardiff, but the rest of his teammates pretty much fail to shine.

Here’s how the Springboks fared in Cardiff.

15 – WILLIE LE ROUX (4/10)

Given how limited the Boks’ attacking pattern looked, the experienced fullback really needed to use his mercurial playmaking abilities better. Conceded an unforgivable 4 turnovers, even though his basics was decent at times.

14 – CHESLIN KOLBE (7/10)

Literally came into the starting line-up minutes before kick-off following S’bu Nkosi’s injury and did not disappoint. He might be the smallest player in the side, but he was also the man that got over the advantage line most consistently. Brave on defence too.

13 – JESSE KRIEL (5/10)

He’s a honest, hard-working midfielder, who desperately needs a more creative presence inside him.


The optimism arising from his earlier performances have been replaced by familiar doubts. Hugely ineffectual on attack, especially in terms of variation and distribution. Defended stoutly without actually imposing himself.

11 – APHIWE DYANTYI (4/10)

One of several Bok members who looked, frankly, tired. Dyantyi truly has had his problems on this tour, particularly on defence. He keeps shooting out of the defensive line and puts his side under immense pressure. Generally left unpunished in that regard, Wales exploited it ruthlessly.

10 – HANDRE POLLARD (5/10)

Seemed to struggle under the burden of having to be one of the main playmakers, though his physicality was impressive. Made a good impression as inside centre once Elton Jantjies came on.


Another promising showing. Last week’s run-on debut seemed to give him more confidence to do things his way. His early tactical kicking was excellent and a thrilling break down the blindside (and the kick) deserved a try. Pity about the knock-on. His service is arguably already on par with Faf de Klerk.


As always a physical presence, but a knock to the shoulder seemed to dim his fire. One particularly frustrating incident was him being blatantly off his feet at an attacking ruck, which cost the Boks a vital opportunity.


His form throughout the year has been so outstanding that one can’t say his halo slipped in this game. Instead, a year of, to be honest, being overplayed has caught up with him.

6 – SIYA KOLISI (5/10)

In the same boat as Du Toit, though the Bok skipper impressed with a few muscular runs. He made a lot of tackles again, but his battered body uncharacteristically allowed for three to be missed too. His miscommunication with Jantjies from a knock-on led to the penalty that put Wales out of sight.


Truly an unsung hero of this team. Dominated his collisions and completed 13 tackles in a lion-hearted, underrated performance. He’ll be livid that it was his missed tackle that led to Jonathan Davies’ break and penalty.

4 – RG SNYMAN (No rating)

Left the field in the 12th minute with a leg problem.


Showed a willingness to get involved as ball-carrier, even if it wasn’t particularly effective. Scrummed well.

2 – MALCOLM MARX (5/10)

His poor tackling technique that led to Thomas Francis’ try had a massive influence on the result. He did compensate for that with three excellent steals on the ground, but the overall impression is of a player playing as a de facto flanker instead of hooker.


He’ll be happy with the way he ended his year. Made all his tackles, muscular in the scrums and willing as a ball-carrier.

16 – BONGI MBONAMBI (6/10)

Delivered another solid 27 minutes that once again suggested he should’ve started ahead of Marx. His strength is that he does the basics so well.

17 – THOMAS DU TOIT (6/10)

Excellent cameo. Made an immediate impact in the scrums, where he won two penalties and also claimed a scalp at the breakdown. His defence was robust.

18 – VINCENT KOCH (5/10)

A worthy replacement for Malherbe, even if you’d probably expect more dynamism from him.

19 – EBEN ETZEBETH (6/10)

Certainly didn’t look like a man injured for the last few weeks. Powerful in the collisions, reliable as jumper and completed all of his 7 tackles.

20 – FRANCOIS LOUW (5/10)

Solid, but not particularly impactful.

21 – IVAN VAN ZYL (3/10)

One of Erasmus’ weird substitutions again. His tactical kicking was a mess and his service far slower than Papier’s. It’s okay to give men like him experience, but did he deserve a whole 30 mins?

22 – ELTON JANTJIES (5/10)

Initially provided a lot of attacking fluency in the backline and nailed an excellent penalty goal. But his knock-on in the 70th minute, which led to Wales’ final three pointer, seemed to affect his confidence.

23 – DAMIAN WILLEMSE (No rating)

Not enought time on the field for a fair rating.

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8 December 2018 THE VAAL

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