Springboks player ratings: Veteran forward duo catch the eye in narrow win over Argentina

Eben Etzebeth scores try SA v Argentina RC 2023 - Alamy.jpg Credit: Alamy

Eben Etzebeth scores try SA v Argentina RC 2023 – Alamy.jpg Credit: Alamy

After their 22-21 Rugby Championship victory over Argentina in Johannesburg, here’s how the South Africa team performed on Saturday.

15 Willie le Roux: The veteran full-back was full of running and looked dangerous on attack, especially in the first half. Also did well when joining the line and operating as a second playmaker but became less influential as the match progressed. Replaced late on by Damian Willemse. 7

14 Cheslin Kolbe: The Bok flyer had few attacking opportunities but when the ball came his way he looked dangerous although he was kept in check by the visitors’ defence. 6

13 Jesse Kriel: Was back in the starting line-up but made little impact on attack. Charged down an attempted clearance from Argentina but knocked on when trying to regather and score behind their try-line. Put in a solid defensive shift. 6

12 Damian de Allende: Used mostly as a battering ram but made little headway as the Pumas’ defence kept him at bay. Was also yellow carded for a cynical defensive foul in the game’s closing stages and Argentina scored two tries during that time. 5

11 Kurt-Lee Arendse: Thought he had continued his excellent try-scoring record when he dotted down just before half-time but it was ruled out for a foot in touch. Despite that setback, he continued to take the fight to Los Pumas with ball in hand. 7

10 Manie Libbok: Had some nervy moments, especially in the first half when he made some errors with ball in hand and also from the kicking tee. However, he improved in both departments and showed great pace to score a runaway try at a crucial stage of the match. 7

9 Grant Williams: His participation in this match lasted for all of 10 seconds before he was knocked out by a challenge from Juan Cruz Mallia. Replaced soon after by Faf de Klerk. N/A

Strong performance from captain in final home game

8 Duane Vermeulen (c): The Springbok skipper led by example in what was his last Test in South Africa. He shone as a ball carrier, finishing with a match-high 57 metres gained and also did his bit on defence. 8

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit: Put in a huge defensive effort and finished with a match high 20 tackles but also conceded some penalties while defending and also when competing in the lineouts. 6

6 Marco van Staden: Was competitive at the breakdowns and put his body on the line on defence but was less prominent as a ball carrier than his previous Test against Australia. 6

5 Marvin Orie: Did what was expected of him in the lineouts and was lively early on, especially when defending, but became less visible as the match progressed. Replaced by RG Snyman early in the second half. 5

4 Eben Etzebeth: The Bok enforcer was in the thick of the action from the outset and was rewarded with a well-taken try after a strong run down the touchline. Continued to work hard on attack, defence and the lineouts and was rewarded with the official man-of-the-match award. 8

3 Frans Malherbe: As usual, the experienced front-row was solid in the scrums although the Boks were put under pressure at the set-piece on a few occasions. 6

2 Malcolm Marx: Came into the run-on side and put in a huge shift, especially at the breakdowns and on defence where he made 12 tackles before being replaced by Bongi Mbonambi on the hour-mark. 7

1 Steven Kitshoff: Another solid performance from the Bok prop who did what was expected of him in the scrums and caught the eye with a fine shift at the breakdowns where he put great pressure on his opponents. 7

Replacements: On the whole, the Boks’ reserve players brought plenty of energy, especially during the second half, but they were frustrated by their opponents who did not take a step backwards. De Klerk’s introduction early on probably changed the way the Boks played although he had some good touches on attack. Of the other replacements, Kwagga Smith caught the eye with a big defensive shift. 6

READ MORE: Springboks edge out Argentina to wrap up second place in Rugby Championship

The article Springboks player ratings: Veteran forward duo catch the eye in narrow win over Argentina appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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