The Springboks lost 19-16 to Ireland in a Test at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday. In a tight game, both teams scored two tries, with both also missing several kicks at goal.
It was 6-all at the break, with all four tries scored in a ding-dong second half.
The Boks still face France, Italy and England on their November tour.
This is how I rated the Boks (out of 10):
Cheslin Kolbe 5: Playing at fullback for the first time at this level, he delivered a decent performance, but added little in attack. Kicked okay, and was lucky to not see red for a poor tackle.
Kurt-Lee Arendse 7: Stood up in defence, looked keen to have a go, and scored a nice try, but had few chances to show what he can do.
Jesse Kriel 8: His best Test in a long time. Kriel was outstanding in defence, made a number of big tackles and really got stuck in. A Test where his excellent performance will be forgotten.
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Damian de Allende 6: His form continues to go up and down. Carried the ball strongly at times, and tackled hard, but wasn’t able to break Ireland’s defence.
Makazole Mapimpi 6: Always willing, always looking for work, but again, the Bok winger got so few chances. Competed well under the high ball, it just didn’t go his way.
Damian Willemse 4: Sadly, this was not a good outing for the talented back. While he was sound in defence, like always, and beat a few defenders with his stepping, his passing wasn’t great and he kicked poorly and didn’t manage the game at all well.
Jaden Hendrikse 6: His service was decent and he made a few nice runs, but was found wanting once at a ruck when ball was turned over. Kicking was okay, but didn’t get stuck in.
Jasper Wiese 6: The big No 8 ran hard, like always, and was a presence at the rucks and mauls, but was kept in check by powerful Irish defence. One-dimensional.
Pieter-Steph du Toit 7: The blindside flank enjoyed a good outing. He carried strongly on several occasions and was superb in defence — probably his best showing in a long time.
Siya Kolisi 6: The Bok skipper was mainly kept quiet by Ireland, but he tried hard to make inroads and tackled well. Steady and present rather than leading from the front.
Lood de Jager 5: The lock seemed to struggle with an injury, he competed well, but didn’t have the impact he usually does as a ball-carrier; left the action before half-time.
Eben Etzebeth 7: The enforcer made a few good runs, off-loaded brilliantly for a try and he stood tall in defence. Was once crucially beaten at the front of a lineout though with the Boks on attack.
Frans Malherbe 6: Did what was asked of him. Appeared to be in charge at scrum time, didn’t perhaps always get the reward, pulled off a tackle or two.
Malcolm Marx 7: The Bok hooker had a good outing without standing out, his lineout work was good, and he got stuck in at the breakdowns on occasion and carried strongly.
Steven Kitshoff 6: Like Malherbe, he did what was asked of him, he scrummed well and tackled a few Irish players in his channel.
Bongi Mbonambi 6: He added some energy to the contest in the second half and did what was expected of him — to be busy and involved.
Vincent Koch 6: Like the man he replaced, he stood his ground in the scrums and tried to get thee Boks moving in the right direction with a few carries.
Ox Nche 6: Again, he did what was asked at scrum time, added some energy and tried hard to be a carrier. Solid outing, like always, without being eye-catching.
Franco Mostert 7: Mr Reliable, made a big impact from before half-time, he really got stuck in, competed in the lineouts, tackled hard, carried well and scored an excellent try.
Deon Fourie 6: He was asked to be a menace at the rucks and he was, winning one good turn-over and competing well. Not enough time to truly make an impact.
Kwagga Smith 6: Like always, he got himself involved in everything, ran hard, tackled harder and competed well at close quarters. He had energy, but didn’t spark the side.
Faf de Klerk 6: The World Cup winner was full of energy and did what he could, he kicked well enough, but he is no longer the player with the X-factor.
Willie le Roux 7: The veteran added direction and attacking threat from the back and showed just why he is so rated by the coaches. Always steady, calm and influential.