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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Springbok ratings: Bomb Squad fires blanks against Argentina at Ellis Park

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The Springboks outlasted Argentina in a fiercely contested Rugby Championship match on Saturday at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

South Africa pulled through, winning 22-21 after a good performance in the first half and some massive defence in the second half.

IOL Sport‘s Leighton Koopman rates the Boks on their individual performance.

15. Willie le Roux (7): He dropped a ball cold in front of his try line, but on the attack, he made some good passes and runs. Kicked good too when looking for touch and territory.

14: Cheslin Kolbe (6.5): A few good plays by the winger but not enough possession to show his skills Chased back excellently on defence to stop a late onslaught from Argentina.

13: Jesse Kriel (7): Some important tackles right at the start and drove the Argentina carriers backward. One good attack but too little play with the ball in hand.

12: Damian de Allende (8): That deliberate knockdown and yellow card spoiled an otherwise good game. Carried strongly and gained meters for his side, even dotted down after a maul.

11: Kurt-Lee Arendse (6): Had one good run at the end of the first half, but just stepped out before dotting down. Did not see enough of the ball on attack to show his skills.

10: Manie Libbok (6.5): Never got into the game on the attack as the Boks struggled to get the backline going. Kicked good out of hand and scored a late try after a breakaway.

9: Grant Williams (-): Too short time on the field to be judged after sustaining a head-knock after the kickoff.

8: Duane Vermeulen (7.5): He had a solid game with his ball carries but should have taken some air balls better as he dropped a couple. Defence also solid in his final test at home.

7: Pieter-Steph du Toit (6.5): A few uncharacteristic ball drops from the flanker. But despite that, he worked tirelessly on defence and shut down the Argentineans on defence.

6: Marco van Staden (5): Made one of the first big tackles of the game and kept Pablo Matera in check. But too little was seen from him at the breakdowns.

5: Marvin Orie (5): Missed one of the first lineout jumps, but he linked up with the backs good again. Defended strongly when the Boks were under pressure.

4: Eben Etzebeth (8): Robust on defence and helped keep the Argentine big runners at bay. Very prominent on the attack and gets over the gain line. Scored a good try.

3: Frans Malherbe (6): Did not get the reward for his dominance in the scrum. Solid on defence and worked hard in the loose.

2. Malcolm Marx (8): He should start more often. Worked beautifully towards the ball on the ground and won turnovers. Sharp at the start with a great lineout move with Etzebeth and carried strongly.

1: Steven Kitshoff (8): Solid scrumming from the Springbok loose head. He also put in some big hits. Excellent at the breakdown and won some important penalties for his side.

Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (5): Defended well but could not add to the scrum power the Boks had. Trevor Nyakane (5): Worked hard in the loose but could not strengthen the Bok scrum. Vincent Koch (5): Carried the ball strongly when he got a run but could not strengthen the scrum dominance. RG Snyman (6): Some pretty deft offloads in the tackle and strong on defence. Kwagga Smith (5): He was busy off the bench with some good tackles and work at the breakdown but conceded a penalty. Faf de Klerk (8.5): He put in some bone-crunching tackles to halt Argentinean attacks and was nippy with passes. Need to kick better though. Lukhanyo Am (5): He needs to go on as a centre if he plays off the bench. Damian Willemse (-): Too short on the field to judge.

@Leighton_K

IOL Sport

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