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Wales player ratings vs South Africa | June Tests 2024

By Neil Fissler
South Africa's centre Jesse Kriel celebrates with South Africa's fullback Aphelele Fassi after scoring the team's first try during the Summer Series international rugby union match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, south-west London, on June 22, 2024. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Wales player ratings: Warren Gatland’s Wales were brave but just didn’t have the firepower to live with the Springboks after a yellow card filled opening quarter.

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Neil Fissler rates the Wales players:

15. Cameron Winnett – 5
The full-back should have hung onto a first-half scoring pass and was caught horribly flat-footed for Mapimpi’s try. While a turnover didn’t help his cause.

14. Liam Williams – 6.5
Brought into the side for experience and almost set up a try with a lovely interception. Superb in the air and was the only Wales player to make a line-break.

13. Owen Watkin – 5
Moved to the inside early on as Wales looked to get the ball out to their wingers. But with his side on the back foot needed to work hard in defence.

12. Mason Grady – 4.5
Seen as a bright hope, but he didn’t see as much of the ball as he would have hoped. Will be keen to see more of it in Australia, so only had limited success.

11. Rio Dyer – 4
Made little impact after being sin-binned after 11 minutes for a cynical offside as Wales clung on and clutched at thin air when Van der Mawe left him standing.

Fixture
Internationals
South Africa
41 - 13
Full-time
Wales
All Stats and Data

10. Sam Costelow – 6.5
He kicked the ball well out of hand but wasn’t afraid to try something different, leaving Mapimpi on his backside with a glorious sidestep was a real highlight of the game.

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9. Ellis Bevan – 4.5
Could have had a dream debut, but a chance to score a try went begging when he spilt the ball and had his hands full with his opposite number, De Klerk.

Gareth Thomas – 5.5
Recovered from a dodgy start to the game and really put his body and especially his shoulder on the line with a brilliant try-saving tackle on Roos on his own line.

2. Dewi Lake – 7
A real captain’s knock. Didn’t let a poor opening affect his game and galvanised his side in the first half. He was rewarded for chasing lost causes with a try.

3. Keiron Assiratti – 3.5
He had a late call-up and limped off just before half-time. After a tough afternoon, he will have Ox Nche living rent-free inside his head for weeks.

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4. Matthew Screech – 5
Had his work cut out against a couple of world-class World Cup winners but wasn’t found wanting and gave a decent account of himself before being replaced.

5. Ben Carter – 5.5
Topped the tackle charts with 16, with four of them coming in the first eight minutes. He was lucky that a sudden drop in height from Malherbe saved him from a yellow card.

6. Taine Plumtree – 5.5
Luckily, Aphelele Fassi’s kung-fu kick didn’t do more damage. He looked to cover a vast amount of ground and disrupted the smooth running of the Boks line out.

7. James Botham – 5.5
An industrious performance, but you wouldn’t expect anything less from Ian Botham’s grandson. Rolled up his sleeves in the trenches in a sound defensive effort.

8. Aaron Wainwright 5
Stupidly sin-binned for pulling down a maul to concede a penalty try, adding to the pressure his side were under, but made more metres than his team-mates.

Replacements

16. Evan Lloyd 3.5
Came off the bench for the last 14 minutes, got a couple of touches of the ball and made some metres.

17. Kemsley Mathias 3
Played 19 minutes but didn’t really do anything right, but also didn’t do anything wrong.

18. Harri O’Connor 4
Took less than 30 seconds to feel the power of Ox Nche but got stuck in with a couple of helpful tackles.

19. James Ratti 3
He was only called up in the week and got his big chance after an hour.

20. Mackenzie Martin – N/A
Came on for the last nine minutes and was left exposed with the mismatch with van der Merwe.

21. Gareth Davies – 4
Cannot fault his work rate, with 27 passes in 20 minutes on the pitch.

22. Eddie James – N/A
Another player who got on for the closing stages and got stuck in from the start.

23. Jacob Beetham N/A
He got ten minutes in a big call to take over at fly-half from Costelow.

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finn 5 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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FEATURE Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma
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