Pretty turgid is how TANK LANNING describes the Bok’s 24-13 win over Argentina, and as such, his player ratings are not particularly stellar, with Francois Louw being the exception.
Sister kissing stuff said the coach who promptly went and picked a mostly unchanged strongest side for the arcane 3rd / 4th playoff game against Argentina. Oi vei.
But ten minutes into the game and the Boks were a different looking side, keeping ball in hand and not just booting the dimples off it. They were dominating the attacking stats.
It did not last long, sadly. And come the end of the mostly turgid 24-13 victory, it was actually Argentina who had dominated all the attacking stats, along with both the possession and territory. But not the stat that counts most – the scoreboard.
This because they gave away penalties like Sandton mommies at Halloween, and lead by the ever industrious Francois Louw, the Boks pilfered the ball like the pick pockets on Trafalgar Square!
So while it was quite exciting to see the men in Green and Gold attempting some ball in hand stuff, it was a little disconcerting to see how ill equipped they were to execute it. ‘Like an overly excited schoolboy trying to undo a bra for the first time” quipped some cynic on Twitter.
Eben Etzebeth was industrious. Both Damien de Allende and Jesse Kriel were busy, the latter contributing hugely with ball in hand, but his 4 missed tackles will have the coaches going grey.
Frans Malherbe was again very impressive at tighthead, growing into the position nicely since taking over from Jannie du Plessis. His defence is good (17 tackles made), while his carries (3 on Friday night) are now also becoming more effective.
But the man who shines brightest in my ratings this week is that ultimate workhorse Louw. His 5 carries, 1 offload, and 18 tackles were impressive, but it’s the 5 turnovers that he burgled at the breakdown that blew my hair back.
With the game won very early in the second half, how desperately sad was it to see Rudy Paige get just 6 minutes of game time?
How I rated the Boks against the Argentina:
Willie le Roux – 6.5
JP Pietersen – 6
Jesse Kriel – 7
Damian De Allende – 7
Bryan Habana – 5
Handré Pollard – 5
Ruan Pienaar – 6.5
Duane Vermeulen – 7
Schalk Burger – 6
Francois Louw – 8
Victor Matfield – 6.5
Eben Etzebeth – 7
Frans Malherbe – 7.5
Bismarck du Plessis – 6
Tendai Mtawarira – 6
Adriaan Strauss – 6
Trevor Nyakane – 6
Jannie du Plessis – 5
Lood de Jager – 6
Willem Alberts – 7
Rudy Paige – 6 minutes!
Pat Lambie – 6
Jan Serfontein – 6
Heyneke Meyer – 2.5
John Lacey – 7
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Ever wondered if the fans in Joburg rate the players differently to those in Cape Town, or if perhaps the fairer sex enjoy a varied take on the game to the manne who think they know it all? Have a little fun by comparing your ratings with any other 2 sets of ratings by choosing them from the drop down menus at the top of each column.