Click and you could have your selfie appear on a Springbok player's Rugby World Cup jersey!

Citing mars Etzebeth's effort

2012-09-08 17:28
Cape Town – A muscular, energetic performance from still 20-year-old second-rower Eben Etzebeth was one of the few shafts of light from South Africa’s otherwise depressing 26-19 defeat to limited Australia in the Castle Rugby Championship at Perth on Saturday.

Etzebeth only got an hour at Patersons Stadium but it was no coincidence that in that time the Boks were mostly competitive, before slipping to a first defeat under the coaching regime of already under-siege Heyneke Meyer.

That said, the Stormers prospect also blotted his disciplinary copybook as his natural aggression got the better of him in a dust-up with Wallaby old hand Nathan Sharpe – he has been cited and his participation in the daunting assignment against the All Blacks next weekend thus hangs in the balance.

Bryan Habana was arguably the pick of a generally sterile back-line – with redeployed wing colleague Francois Hougaard not far behind -- although the veteran also didn’t go the distance, having to be hauled off through injury in the third quarter.
Here’s how we rated the Boks:

Zane Kirchner: 6

Sound kicking game, though that’s nothing especially new. Really needs to show more. Still, his strong aerial ‘compete’ eventually led to lone Bok try.

Bryan Habana: 7

These are not nicest times to be a Bok wing, but the seasoned customer looked for involvement at every turn, and snuck in for deserved close-quarters try.

Jean de Villiers: 4.5

Desperately quiet outing by the captain, who looks short of fizz at present. Slightly indecisive in some tackles, too.

Frans Steyn: 5.5
Some good aspects, though offering more in physicality than anything else -- X-factor has suddenly gone AWOL. Two useful long-range penalties.

Francois Hougaard: 6.5

Like Habana, served some notice of what he might be able to do if given space and front-foot attacking opportunities. Alertness, opportunism pleasing features.

Morne Steyn: 5.5

Kicked (yawn, that word again!) well out of hand, it must be said. But bad penalty miss off tee early in second half and still too obvious an impediment to Bok backline sparkle. Will Meyer finally see sense on this?

Ruan Pienaar: 6
Fell away a little as Boks nose-dived after break, but influential in dominant first half, with astute positional awareness and as provider of direction, especially with tactical kicking.

Duane Vermeulen: 5.5

Pretty innocuous debut; 2012 Boks continue to struggle in this position. But clearly ring-rusty and only just rebuilding match fitness. Deserves second stab -- at All Blacks on Saturday.

Willem Alberts: 5.5
Too fitful in his involvement. One or two good carries, but that’s his speciality anyway. Defence shown up a couple of times.

Marcell Coetzee: 6

Once again, spirited quest to be dynamic and hard-working. Has played lots of top-tier rugby this year, and it’s just beginning to show. Jury still out on his open-side stationing, too -- Boks seem to cry out anew for specialist?

Juandre Kruger: 5.5

Earns modicum of respectability for assured lineout outing. Otherwise, fell short for broader ‘presence’. Shaky defence as Ben Alexander lumbered over try-line for decisive score.  

Eben Etzebeth: 7

Might have scored higher, but for silly head-butt (though was it a fresh-air one?) on Sharpe, who did seem to milk the incident a bit. Repercussions could be costly. Otherwise, suitably fiery, busy, and getting increasingly assured as a lineout banker.

Jannie du Plessis: 4.5
C’mon, big fella! Really must do more to disprove theory that he only ‘plays’ when brother Bismarck is alongside him. Some lazy lunges on defence and sub-standard day at scrum-time, into bargain.

Adriaan Strauss: 5.5

Best Bok front-rower on the day ... though that’s not saying very much.

Tendai Mtawarira: 4.5

What’s happened to the brimstone in the Beast? Worryingly absent for much of this Test season. Woes compounded by yellow card for obstructing Kurtley Beale off ball.

Substitutes with rate-worthy game time:

Pat Cilliers: 5
From 54th minute, did little to stabilise iffy Bok scrum.

Flip van der Merwe: 5.5

Nothing special in 20 minutes; perhaps Etzebeth hauled off 10 minutes too early?

Francois Louw: 5.5

Similarly, no marked impact from 57th minute, though possibly has chance of a ‘fetching’ start in Dunedin.

Lwazi Mvovo: 4

More used to left wing, of course, and defence on right slightly frail after replacing injured Habana in 53rd minute. Embarrassing error from a restart, too.

*Follow our chief writer on Twitter: @RobHouwing

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


08 August 2015
  • Australia v New Zealand, ANZ Stadium 12:05
  • South Africa v Argentina, Growthpoint Kings Park 17:05
15 August 2015
  • Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Jose Amalfitani 21:40
19 September 2015
  • South Africa v Japan, Brighton Community Stadium 17:45


Rank Team P W Pts


26 July 2015
25 July 2015
18 July 2015
17 July 2015
11 July 2015
29 November 2014
22 November 2014
15 November 2014
08 November 2014
04 October 2014
27 September 2014
13 September 2014
06 September 2014
23 August 2014
16 August 2014
28 June 2014
21 June 2014
14 June 2014
07 June 2014
23 November 2013
17 November 2013
09 November 2013
05 October 2013
28 September 2013
14 September 2013
07 September 2013
24 August 2013
17 August 2013
22 June 2013
15 June 2013
08 June 2013

Opinion Poll

After losing to the All Blacks in Johannesburg, do the Springboks stand any chance at the World Cup?

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.