South Africa

Tri Nations 4 Player Ratings

Tri Nations 4 Player Ratings

Any win against the Springboks in the Republic is a good one. This match was the proverbial arm wrestle against their top selection, with a superb Wallabies defensive effort bringing home the biltong.

However, it was spoilt to some degree by poor ball security and ill-discipline. Still, you’d have to be satisfied with a very much improved forward performance. They took on the Springbok pack and eventually gained the upper hand in a very physical battle.

Wallaby Player Ratings

PlayerRating Comment
Beale8KB was the best of the backs and looks dangerous every time he handles the ball on attack. Invariably beats the first tackler. He was very safe under the high ball and his positioning throughout the game was excellent. Keeps on maturing and a star performance in a relatively ho-hum game.
O'Connor6Did some good things, especially in setting up McCabe’s try but was a bit scratchy around the field – a high mistake rate this week. Defensively strong including one cracking tackle on The Beast. Goalkicking was again an issue, although conditions weren’t that user friendly.
Ashley-Cooper5Had one good run and made a contribution defensively, otherwise fairly anonymous. This isn’t the AAC of old but a continuation of his lapse in form. I don’t think they can keep persevering with him forever. It’s time for Fingers.
McCabe7Despite a lack of creativity in the centres, at least you know what you’re going to get with McCabe – direct running and hard hitting defence. He had a good game, scored the winning try and a high tackle count (12). You’ve got to give him credit for that. However, I’m still not convinced that this is an RWC winning centre pairing; it just doesn’t scare the horses….
Ioane7Diggers is another who always beats the first tackle but when he’s caught his incredible leg drive allows him to stay on his feet until support arrives. He’s a bit of an excitement machine and you always know something’s ‘on’ when he’s got the pill. His workrate was again high this week and they used him frequently to find holes in the defence.
Cooper7QC played a far more mature and conservative match this week, not overplaying his hand with miracle balls etc. His distribution was excellent and he had a good read of the play. His tactical kicking and game management in the last stanza was just spot-on. Crikey, he even made some tackles!
Genia7Sanchez has got it down pat now, hasn’t he? Great decision maker and loads of ‘vision’. Outplayed world class opposite Fourie du Preez; in fact, taken over his mantle methinks? Actually, his box kicking was of du Preez quality and sniping runs put pressure on the Springbok defence. Is there a better scrumhalf around?
Higginbotham5He doesn’t usually play No 8 and our expectations were probably raised a little high by his ‘off the bench’ impact in previous matches. His workrate was quite low (2 tackles, 2 runs, 2 rucks for instance) and he generally wasn’t sighted. He was seriously outplayed by a rambunctious Pierre Spies. He’ll need to do better next time as he learns to adapt.
Pocock7Bam Pocock was his usual industrious self, as we’ve come to expect from someone of his quality. He doesn’t have the full range of skills that Richie McCaw has (well, who does?) but on the deck and in defence he’s world class. He effected a good number of turnovers and contributed significantly to the Wallabies physicality.
Elsom7I’m not going to rave about Rocky’s game because it probably looked better than it actually was. I say that kindly because it was a direct contrast to recent insipid performances. In contrast to Higgers, our expectations were fairly low but he exceeded them. In a timely fashion too! I thought he looked a bit shot as the game wore on but that’s more to do with match fitness. The Rock returns…
Horwill8Big Kev, I'm excited! Well, I was by his performance. What a cracking game he had. Led the charge doing the tough stuff – high workrate, high impact, always made the gain line, physicality extraordinaire. Some good lineout work to bolt. He had the better of Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha, and is turning into a class asset. My Man of the Match.
Sharpe7A continuation of his outstanding Super Rugby form, Sharpie showed that he deserves to be there next to Big Kev. A dominating presence in the lineout, disrupting Springbok throws and generating loads of go-forward in general play. He smashed plenty of japies in the process. For his detractors – yes, that was him in the second row when the Bokke scrum headed in reverse.
Alexander6His best hitout so far in a very average season: there is progression. It seemed to me that he played it tighter than he has recently? Did the hard work and reaped the reward. He needed to because he has looked ‘un-international’ this year. I would like to see his form of a year or two ago return. He would be pleased with his scrummaging effort. Glad Ma’afu never got on….
Moore8In terms of involvements, Squeaky's wasn’t too far off Big Kev’s effort. He relishes the contact area and looks for work. He’s been Mr Consistency during the international season. Not only does he do the tight work but, like all good hookers, enjoys running a bit wider from time-to-time. You could see how much he enjoyed that scrummaging effort too. He’s making it hard for the selectors as TPN returns to fitness.
Kepu7Kepu was a bit of a penalty magnet in this game and needs to tighten up his discipline. Despite that, his efforts in the tight were impressive. He made some big hits in defence (10 at the last count) and his scrummaging improved as the game wore on – no doubt also impacted by Bokke changes to their pack. He’s starting to look comfortable at loosehead.
Samo6Samo did just about as much in 20 minutes as Higgers did in 60? Had a great return to test rugby. Soft hands and control at the back of the scrum was impeccable. Made a few telling hits in defence as well. Not ready for the walking stick yet.
Faingaa6Ant had an immediate impact when he came on in the 60th minute, making a number of dominant tackles including a pearler on Pietersen. Also looked very sharp in attack – certainly sharper than the man he replaced. He should be in the starting XV.
Enter Description

10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Outstanding performance: Man of the match shoo-in
8 – Excellent all round game
7 – Good game with a few sparkles
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke

South Africa

Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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