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South Africa player ratings vs Wales - RWC SF

By Online Editors
South Africa players Mbongeni Mbonambi, Tendai Mtawarira and Siya Kolisi celebrate.

It was far from a classic but South Africa did enough to book their place in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final with a 19-16 defeat of Wales in Yokohama.

In a tight game, many of the Springboks’ backs failed to make their impact felt, but the pack stepped up to ensure Rassie Erasmus’ side got over the line and set up a clash with England on Saturday.

15 Willie le Roux – 5

Finally, the fullback showed a little courage as he plucked some high ball against Wales veteran Leigh Halfpenny. Despite his failure in the air, the fullback defence was solid. Nonetheless, the question still remains would Frans Steyn or Cheslin Kolbe be a better option at fullback for the final.

14 Sibusiso Nkosi – 5

He saw very little of the ball due to the kicking nature of the match. However, he showed his skills with a strong break which landed the Springboks’ a penalty and their first points. On defence, he was caught in no-man’s-land on a couple of occasions, but overall a good effort by the wing.

13 Lukhanyo Am – 6

Another very busy defensive display by the centre. He made all his tackles however he needs to get more involved on attack.

12 Damian de Allende – 8.5

The centre has been incredible throughout the tournament. His workrate was again tremendous – making tackle after tackle. De Allende made one or two silly decisions (such as a poor chip kick to Mapimpi), but overall a great performance that included an amazing try.

11 Makazole Mapimpi – 5

Unlike last week, the wing’s try-scoring opportunities were very limited. He was kept busy on defence and had a few problems when it came to the aerial contest.

10 Handré Pollard – 7.5

He played a vital role in Damian de Allende’s try and in the last quarter of the match showed glimpses of how lethal he can be on attack. The No.10 was solid from the tee, nailing all of his five kicks. Certainly a very calm figure.

9 Faf de Klerk – 8

It was clear that the scrumhalf played his own game, his box kicks were effective and he made a sniping run in the opening minutes. His distribution was fairly accurate, while his defence (which include two crucial ankle taps on dangerman George North), again proved to be vital for the Springboks. Just that silly fumble in the second half marred his nearly flawless display.

8 Duane Vermeulen – 7.5

His trademark big run ended Tomas Francis’ semi-final match in the 35th minute. The strong No.8 also took some hits but nothing that halted his momentum. He made 46 running metres and bashed through defenders.

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit – 7

The flanker had a slow start. However his very industrious defensive performance (18 tackles; two missed) made up for that. Will be interesting to see how he competes against England’s Sam Underhill and Tom Curry next week.

6 Siya Kolisi – 6

He was a reliable defender, notching up eight tackles. On attack, he made a couple of metres.

5 Lodewyk de Jager – 6

Put in a strong shift and provided plenty of muscle in some driving mauls before he left the field just short of the hour mark.

4 Eben Etzebeth – 7

Disrupted the Wales set piece and his aggressive nature around the rucks and in tackles was a much-needed component.

3 Frans Malherbe – 7

He was strong in the scrums and got the better of his opponent. Certainly a powerful display by the prop.

2 Bongi Mbonambi – 6

Was effective with his strong defensive display and found his jumpers in the line-outs. However, a below-par performance as he was quiet during open play. Replaced by Malcolm Marx after 48 minutes.

1 Tendai Mtawarira – 6

He was solid in the scrums and laid a perfect foundation for the Springboks.


16 Malcolm Marx (on for Mbonambi, 48th minute) – 7

Made a huge impact and was a vital part of the Springboks’ late defensive effort.

17 Steven Kitshoff (on for Mtawarira, 48th minutes) – 7

Just like his fellow front row forwards, Kitshoff was brought in to aid the Springboks defence, and he did just that.

18 Vincent Koch (on for Malherbe, 48th minutes) – 8

Another important cog from the bench, Koch made all of his 10 tackles during his 33 minutes on the field.

19 Rudolph Snyman (on for Etzebeth, 52nd minute) – 8

Made an impact when he was introduced. The lock proved to be an effective line-out option as he directed the driving maul very well. Was also very good in open play.

20 Franco Mostert (on for De Jager, 58th minute) – 6

His first touch of the ball was far from perfect or accurate, however still put in an industrious shift.

21 Francois Louw (on for Kolisi, 68th Minute)

Not enough time to be rated.

23 Frans Steyn. (on for Le Roux, 68th minute)

Not enough time to be rated

Watch: Warren Gatland and Wales reflect on semi final loss

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