Bok Ratings – Not pretty

That the Boks kept it to a 2 point game speaks to their character and guts says TANK LANNING, and while that needs to be recognised, the score does not reflect the All Black dominance.

Tank Lanning

Based on these match stats, that the Boks managed to keep Saturday’s epic encounter at Twickenham on Saturday to a 2 point game should be declared the 8th wonder of the world!

That they also stuffed up 4 lineouts and missed 20 tackles, while suffering hugely on both the territory and possession stats, speaks hugely to their character, guts and sheer bloody determination. And for that they need to be individually commended.

But in the process the Boks seem to have become hugely negative – using massive structured defence to shut down the opposition. Nothing wrong there. But at the expense of any form of attacking creativity, instead in the hope of eking out the penalty.

“The Boks have forgotten how to score tries” said an astute Kiwi fan to me on the train back from Twickenham. “It’s a bit sad, hey?”

A bit sad indeed. And while the All Blacks did their fair share of kicking (47 to the Bok’s 40), the astuteness and relentlessness of which saw them dominate the territory stats, putting massive pressure on the Boks, they seemed the only side on the park who had come to play some rugby.

And under that pressure, the Bok kicking game came unstuck, often just lofting it back to the uber dangerous All Black back three.

Against men with lesser fortitude than the Boks, the All Blacks would have fancied their chances of landing the killer blow. But as Kiwi commentator Sumo Stevenson says: “These South African men are infused with the kind of fortitude that has defined this rivalry for a century. They refused to go away. They stayed in the game”.

And that character I recognise in my Bok ratings this weekend, but one gets the feeling that all this game really did, was reinforce the fact that the Boks have been left behind.

The scrum was bloody good, though!

How I rated the Boks against the All Blacks:

Willie le Roux – 5.5

JP Pietersen – 5

Jesse Kriel – 5.5

Damian De Allende – 7.5

Bryan Habana – 4.5

Handré Pollard – 5.5

Fourie du Preez – 6

Duane Vermeulen – 6.5

Schalk Burger – 5.5

Francois Louw – 7

Lood de Jager – 5.5

Eben Etzebeth – 5

Frans Malherbe – 7

Bismarck du Plessis – 5.5

Tendai Mtawarira – 6.5


Adriaan Strauss – 6

Trevor Nyakane – 6

Jannie du Plessis – 6

Victor Matfield – 6.5

Willem Alberts – 7

Ruan Pienaar – DNP

Pat Lambie – 6.5

Jan Serfontein – 51 seconds!


Heyneke Meyer – 4.5


Jerome Garces – 7.5

Disagree? Brilliant, because now you can do your own Bok ratings and stand a chance of winning one of two Samsung Galaxy A3 phones. Add your own ratings on the “Rate the Boks” section of the Vodacom Rugby site, then share them on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #ratetheboks. That share not only automatically gets you into the draw to win one of the two phones, but also influences the overall community ratings and allows you to compare your ratings with those of the experts and other sectors of the community.

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.