South Africa player ratings vs Japan

By Online Editors
Three of South Africa's standout back row make the cut in this year's rankings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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The Springboks’ pack performed like a well-oiled machine against Japan and it laid the foundation for their 26-3 World Cup quarter-final win in Tokyo.


Rassie Erasmus’ side are not the finished product out wide on attack and it is an area they will need to improve ahead of their semi-final against Wales next weekend.

Here’s how the South Africa players rated:

15. Willie le Roux – 6
He conceded quite a few turnovers. He lost the ball in one great attacking play, but played a role in Makazole Mapimpi’s second try and was solid on defence.

14. Cheslin Kolbe – 5.5
A very quiet game by his standards. He did not get much opportunity with the ball and got smoked by Kenki Fukuoka out wide.

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13. Lukhanyo Am – 6
Another big effort in defence from the midfielder. However, he was not at his best with ball in hand, especially his offloading.

12. Damian de Allende – 7.5
He put in some bone-crunching tackles and got his team over the gainline with a few carries. He also turned the ball over at a crucial moment in the first half when Japan were threatening to score.

11. Makazole Mapimpi – 8
A very busy man out wide, racking up 116 running metres during the 80 minutes. He scored two excellent tries and marked Japan’s dangermen well out wide.


10. Handré Pollard – 6.5
He came to life on attack in the final ten minutes when his neat break led to Mapimpi’s second try. However, he was quiet for large periods of the game with Faf de Klerk running the show once again.

9. Faf de Klerk – 8
He disrupted Japan’s attacking play with his speed off the line and had a couple of good kicks in open play as well. However, he is still a bit slow at clearing the ball from the breakdown.

8. Duane Vermeulen – 7
Vermeulen certainly made his presence felt on the defensive side of the game. He did not get much opportunity with ball in hand, but was a vital cog in the set-piece and maul.

7. Pieter-Steph du Toit – 6.5
Worked tirelessly across the park, but was guilty of missing a few tackles in open play.

6. Siya Kolisi (captain) – 6.5
Disrupted Japan’s play with a couple of turnovers and some huge hits on defence.

5. Lood de Jager – 8
His workrate around the park, especially on defence, was outstanding. The big man also provided plenty of muscle in some powerful driving mauls and in securing plenty of ball at lineout time.


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4. Eben Etzebeth – 7 
Disrupted a few of Japan’s lineouts and was aggressive around the ruck.

3. Frans Malherbe  – 6.5
Was strong in the scrum while he was on the field. He also knocked over a few Japanese players on defence.

2. Mbongeni Mbonambi – 5.5
Only on the field for 36 minutes before he was replaced by Malcolm Marx. He did his part in a strong defensive display and found his jumpers in the lineout.

1. Tendai Mtawarira – 6
Gave his opposite number hell at scrum time and was solid on defence. However, a yellow card was a blemish on his scorecard.


16. Malcolm Marx – 8
Made a huge impact. He was a hard man to bring down in open play and had one try assist.

17. Steven Kitshoff – 7
Terrorised Japan at scrum time and joined the party on defence.

18. Vincent Koch – 5
Did his part up front in the maul and scrum.

19. Rudolph Snyman – 5
Didn’t make too much of an impact in open play.

20. Franco Mostert – N/A
Not enough time to be rated.

21. Francois Louw  – N/A
Not enough time to be rate.

22. Herschel Jantjies – N/A
Not enough time to be rated.

23. Frans Steyn –N/A
Not enough time to be rated.


WATCH: Matt Giteau in the latest episode in the RugbyPass Rugby World Cup Memories series

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South Africa player ratings vs Japan