Cape Town — It was a nine-try fest for the Springboks as they secured their first victory on their November tour with a 63-21 thrashing of Italy in Genoa earlier today.
Here is how we rated the Boks…
Willie le Roux: 8
Continued where he left off in Marseille with another busy performance as he brought real spark to the Bok attack, adding variety with his passing and chip kicks.
Cheslin Kolbe: 7
Brilliant try early in the second half as he snatched the kickoff in the air and scored, which gave the Boks some breathing space on the scoreboard at 23-16. But unfortunately went off with a hamstring injury.
Damian de Allende: 7
Made a couple of incisive carries and had a bit more space to work with at outside centre, compared to his usual No 12 battering-ram role.
Andre Esterhuizen: 7
Instead of just being a crash-ball inside centre, Esterhuizen shifted into the wider channels at times and made good ground with ball-in-hand.
Kurt-Lee Arendse: 9
It must have been a tough call for the Bok coaches to pick Arendse ahead of Makazole Mapimpi two weeks in a row, but the Bulls hot-stepper has justified his selection each time. Wonderful finish for his first try, electric pace every time he got the ball, and plucked a few high-balls out of the sky too.
Damian Willemse: 8
This was a much better performance as a specialist flyhalf from Willemse. He ran the show for the Boks instead of Le Roux, setting up the first try for Arendse with a lovely step past a flying defender. Added real zip to the attack with his slick passing, and produced his trademark feints to keep the defence guessing.
Faf de Klerk: 7
Didn’t kick as much ball away this time compared to the French Test, and that allowed the Boks to build the phases and generate momentum over the advantage line. Missed touch from a penalty.
Jasper Wiese: 7
Had a couple of barnstorming runs up the middle, and did the hard yards in the tight-loose on attack and defence.
Franco Mostert: 6
Hit the rucks, but wasn’t his usual busy self as a ball-carrier and defender.
Siya Kolisi (captain): 8
The Bok captain had to face the heat about Rassie Erasmus in Friday’s press conference, but kept his cool then, and produced another classy performance on the pitch. Ran with purpose on attack, defended strongly and his offload in the final try was terrific.
Marvin Orie: 9
This was the Stormers No 5’s best Test outing of his career. Commanding in the lineouts as usual, but this time, Orie got stuck in much more often in general play. Worked tirelessly on defence, especially at the ruck fringes and was ready and available as a ball-carrier.
Salmaan Moerat: 6
Not a bad effort in his first Test start in front of a boisterous Italian crowd. Did the dirty work at the mauls and securing the rucks, and held up a maul with the help of Ox Nche to deny the Azzurri a try.
Frans Malherbe: 7
Although the referee didn’t always give him the necessary reward, Malherbe was on top in his scrum battle with Italian No 1 Danilo Fischetti, and made his fair share of carries and tackles.
Bongi Mbonambi: 7
A well-taken try as he broke away from a maul, although it was not far off the controversial late French try last week as Mbonambi seemed to be stopped short of the line before taking a few seconds and then placing the ball over the whitewash.
Controlled the mauls well and was generally accurate with his lineout-throws.
Ox Nche: 7
Got the better of Italy’s tighthead Pietro Ceccarelli in the scrums, and got involved in ball-carrying and maul defence.
Best off the Bench – Manie Libbok: 8
In just his second Test, Libbok replaced the injured Kolbe with the Boks leading 23-16, so the victory was far from secure. But with Willemse moving to wing, the Stormers pivot displayed his full array of skills to help unlock the Italian defence with subtle touches, and also nailed a touchline conversion for his first international points.
Italy 21 – Tries: Ange Capuozzo, Lorenzo Cannone. Conversion: Tommaso Allan (1). Penalties: Allan (3).
South Africa 63 – Tries: Kurt-Lee Arendse (2), Bongi Mbonambi, Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Damian Willemse, Cobus Reinach. Conversions: Kolbe (1), Manie Libbok (5). Penalties: Kolbe (2).