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Monday, June 24, 2024

Springboks ratings: Bomb Squad’s Handre Pollard, Ox Nche, RG Snyman defuse England

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The Springboks nudged over the line to make the Rugby World Cup final, but it was a struggle and some players fared better than others.

Mike Greenaway rates the players out of 10 following the Springboks’ epic semi-final win over England.

Damian Willemse 3/10

He had a game to forget, struggling under the high ball. A reckless pass near his 22 culminated in a penalty to put England 9-3 ahead. He was penalised for going off his feet at a ruck early in the second half. Fumbled a kick-through by Farrell.

Cheslin Kolbe 8

In a rain-affected game that was always about the high ball, he fought courageously. He made some brave takes in the air and put the England defenders under pressure with his chasing.

Jesse Kriel 5

The conditions made this game an arm wrestle and it made some of the backs anonymous. Kriel was one of them. He just wasn’t in the game.

Damian De Allende 6

His defence was enormous. Very few opportunities came his way and he smashed his opposite number backwards.

Kurt-Lee Arendse 6

His usual attacking game was rendered obsolete by the rain. A bad fumble from a Farrell grubber put his team under serious pressure but otherwise, he fought bravely.

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Manie Libbok 4

Nailed his first penalty shot at goal but his territorial kicking game was off and he was subbed after 30 minutes.

Cobus Reinach 5

He pounced on an unguarded ball at a ruck in front of the posts that ended up a penalty but it was a mixed bag at best for him.

Duane Vermeulen 6

Carried strongly throughout. He caught many a high ball and his leadership was vital when the cause seemed lost.

Pieter-Steph du Toit 6

He gave away a penalty in the second minute of the game and another just before halftime. He gave his best but was a touch clumsy.

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Siya Kolisi 5

He was penalised for a side entry that gave England a 6-0 lead. He did not make his usual impact.

Franco Mostert 7

His big engine roared as usual. He knocked on the England 22, but made up for it with a lineout steal.

Eben Etzebeth 6

Immense in the collisions. Gave away a penalty for offsides at a ruck but overall seemed to be playing within himself. Is he carrying an injury?

Frans Malherbe 7

The scrum dominance did not come from the tighthead in the first half. He laboured away and eventually came good.

Bongi Mbonambi 5

Started badly with a wayward throw-in when the Boks were under pressure in their 22, and then did it again. He scrummed powerfully toward the end.

Steven Kitshoff 6

He was under pressure throughout and while he did not go backwards he showed guts when England were threatening to take control of the game.

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Replacements:

Faf de Klerk 8

Every South African’s favourite scrumhalf wore his underpants on his sleeve and made a telling impact.

Deon Fourie 9

He was magnificent in his impact. He set up the match-clinching try.

Ox Nche 8

What a scrumming impact he made! Huge impact.

RG Snyman 10

South Africa’s Viking slayed the English. He had a match-winning impact.

Kwagga Smith 8

Massive impact. He loosened up the Boks’ approach.

Handre Pollard 10

Any critic who puzzled over his recall after the injury to Malcolm Marx has been silenced. When a cool head was required to salvage the game, Pollard stepped up.

Willie le Roux 3

He had a lot to say on the field without actually doing anything. Andre Esterhuizen would be a better option off the bench.

IOL Sport

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