Durban – The Springboks saved their best for last in 2022 when they overpowered their Old Foe, England, 27-13 at Twickenham on Saturday night. It was a massive team effort but individuals also shone. Mike Greenaway rates the players out of 10.
15 Willie le Roux — The fullback has enjoyed a much-improved year and has really come to the fore as a playmaker. The way he set up Kurt-Lee Arendse’s try was masterful. (8)
14 Kurt-Lee Arendse — Seven tries in seven games confirm that he is currently the game’s most lethal finisher. Dynamite truly comes in small packages. (9)
13 Jesse Kriel — There remains nothing flashy about Kriel. We are used to not seeing him make a break but we commend him for his fierce tackling and his strong work ethic. (6)
12 Damian de Allende — As always, a powerful influence in the midfield. The gaps did not come his way but he carried directly and strongly. A very tough customer and a vital part of this Bok team. (6)
11 Makazola Mapimpi — You have to feel for the veteran. The ball seldom went his way and he knows his position is under serious threat now that Cheslin Kolbe and Arendse are surely the first-choice wings. (5)
10 Damian Willemse — Earlier this year he was the first-choice fullback and had to move to 10 because of emergency. A few months later he has played his way ahead of Handre Pollard. His two drop goals underline the growing confidence of the hot stepper. (8)
9 Faf de Klerk — The old swagger is back in the feisty scrumhalf after spending much of the season behind Jaden Hendrikse. Maybe it is the TV ad that has revived his mojo. He is definitely enjoying the greater freedom provided by the revised game plan. (8)
8 Evan Roos — He carried strongly and ran some very good support lines as the classic No 8 that he is. With more game time at this level he will adjust to the quicker pace. He was not spectacular but we saw enough here to know he will develop into a great. (7)
7 Franco Mostert — There is no greater engine in world rugby. I seriously doubt there is a harder worker, and when he is doing it via his massive frame, that means he is extremely effective. The ultimate warhorse. (8)
6 Siya Kolisi — The captain has a knack for rising to the big occasions. He did it in the series against the Lions and the big Bok wins of this year. He was tireless in his efforts and inspirational in his leadership (8)
5 Marvin Orie — He got stuck in and did some very good things but also was also clumsy in two of the restarts. He has had a good tour and is not shy of doing the hard yards. (6)
4 Eben Etzebeth — Eben the Angry made a mockery of his omission from the World Rugby Dream Team by totally outplaying his old rival Maro Itoje. Etzebeth was colossal and proved on the Twickenham big stage that he is the best lock in the world (9).
3 Frans Malherbe —The tighthead gave Make Vunipola a tough time in the scrums and was the anchor in an overall impressive scrumming effort by the Boks. (8)
2 Bongo Mbonambi — A workmanlike effort from the hooker and he had some clever variations in the lineouts. I wish he would leave the talking on the field to Kolisi. (7)
1 Ox Nche — He got the better of Kyle Sinckler in the scrums and had a busy evening in the loose. A solid game from the Sharks’ loosehead. (7)
Replacements: Malcolm Marx — Showed why he was picked as the World Dream Team hooker (8); Steven Kitshoff — What a player to bring on! (7); Thomas du Toit — Careless red card (3); Kwagga Smith — the ultimate impact player (8).