The Springboks hit back in style on Saturday, winning their Rugby Championship match 24-8 against the Wallabies in Sydney.
It came just a week after the Boks suffered a 25-17 loss in Adelaide. It was the first win in Australia by the Boks since 2013, and their first against the Wallabies in Sydney since 1993.
The Boks scored four tries in a powerful performance, where captain Siya Kolisi led the way.
Here’s how I rated the Boks, out of 10:
Willie le Roux 7: Back in the No 15 jersey, Le Roux was safe under the high ball and in the last line of defence. He kicked well out of hand and made some great attacking plays, none better than his drift and pass in the build-up to Makazole Mapimpi’s try.
Canan Moodie 7: The youngster didn’t put a foot wrong in a fairly quiet debut. He took his one chance brilliantly though, jumping high for an up-and-under, winning the ball, and charging to the tryline for a wonderful try. Made a few good tackles.
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Jesse Kriel 6: It was a surprisingly quiet game for the outside centre. The action just didn’t go his way, but he made seven tackles and missed two; made a good pass for Franco Mostert’s try.
Damian de Allende 8: He was close to being back to his best. Carried the ball strongly and often (eight times) and also made six passes, two of which in the build-up to tries being scored, in a busy outing. Also put in 13 tackles, and scored a try.
Makazole Mapimpi 7: Like Kriel, wasn’t involved in too much of the Boks’ play, but like Moodie, he finished off the one chance that came his way, in some style. He didn’t deserve a yellow card for his altercation with Marike Korobeite.
Damian Willemse 7: He was involved in plenty of the action — he ran strongly and dangerously, made some good off-loads, cleaned up loose ball under pressure, and put in some big tackles (12). Directed play nicely, but a few iffy kicks out of hand and goal-kicking was off.
Jaden Hendrikse 6: His service was quick, he kicked well out of hand and made some good hits. Took a quick-tap penalty that resulted in a try. Needs to ask more around the fringes.
Jasper Wiese 8: One of the unsung heroes of the Boks in 2022. Powerful in his carries (13), he got the Boks over the gainline while he didn’t miss a tackle. Played 60 minutes, but showed again he is currently the best for the No 8 jersey.
Franco Mostert 8: A somewhat controversial selection, the regular lock played out of his skin. He carried well, he scored a great try and made 13 tackles. He also won several lineout throws, while his energy was infectious.
Siya Kolisi 9: The Bok skipper was at his very best in his best outing in 2022. He made a few big carries, beat defenders, cleaned up loose ball (which on one occasion led to Mostert scoring a try), and made 11 tackles and won three breakdown turn-overs. Huge.
Lood de Jager 7: Another player who goes under the radar too often. De Jager enjoyed a solid outing; he made a great linebreak, made numerous tackles and took many lineout throws.
Eben Etzebeth 6: Wow, talk about crazy eyes, the Bok enforcer was a terrifying sight in his scuffle with Alan Alaalatoa. Carried a few times and made some tackles, but still some way off his best.
Frans Malherbe 6: It was a quiet game for the tighthead prop. He scrummed well enough, carried twice and made two tackles.
Malcolm Marx 8: It was another solid showing by the hooker. He threw the ball into the lineout on 14 occasions and found his jumper 12 times. Two of his throws were pinched. He carried strongly to the gainline and pulled off 11 tackles. He must start every Test.
Steven Kitshoff 6: Scrummed strongly and carried the ball a few times in an otherwise quiet performance.
Bench 7: Deon Fourie, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn all saw action in the second part of the second half. Their defensive work was the standout feature in what was not the usual ‘bomb squad’ performance. Warrick Gelant didn’t get on.