Bok player ratings

2009-11-14 10:31

France v SA: Springbok player ratings

A weary looking and out of sorts Springbok side came unstuck against a physical and motivated French side who extended their 12-year unbeaten run against the Springoks on home soil with a 20-13 win at Stadium Municipal, Toulouse, on Friday.

Each side scored one try but it was the home side who made all the running. The Boks were guilty of giving up possession far too easily while Julien Dupuy (four penalties) and Morgan Parra (one penalty) kept the scoreboard ticking over for the home side.

Sport24 editor and ex WP prop Tank Lanning rates the Springbok players …

Zane Kirchner: 3/10

Started both halves badly - with a charged down kick in the first and a kick in directly into touch in the second, and never recovered. Did not inspire confidence.

JP Pietersen: 4/10
Will be remembered for the crazy quick throw in toward the end of the game. Pretty solid on defence, but almost zero opportunity on attack. The Boks did not have enough ball to try getting it to the wings!

Jaque Fourie: 5/10
Pretty invisible, really. His defence was solid, but as per most of the backs, very limited opportunities on attack. Perhaps he should move to inside centre?

Adi Jacobs: 3/10

A bit of an enigma. His defence was actually pretty damn solid, but he was the biggest offender in terms of not respecting the ball. Gave possession away far too easily in the tackle, and as such, stymied the Bok attack.

Bryan Habana: 2/10
Not his best. One cannot fault his work rate, but he was one of the many players to lose the ball in the tackle. And on a night of few opportunities, the childish little kick he put in at a maul late in the first half may just come home to bite him via the citing commissioner.

Morné Steyn: 3/10

The law of averages dictates that this Bok hero was due a bad game at some stage. And this was it. Kicked directly into touch, kicked too deep out of hand, did not mark the ball when he could late in the game, and the cherry on top - a yellow card for tripping.

Fourie du Preez: 6/10
The SA Player of the year and shoe in for the IRB player of the year is never going to let you down. Solid again, if unspectacular. Partly because he was behind a set of players being physically bullied, though.

Ryan Kankowski: 2/10
A pretty bad day at the office. He said after the game that he thought the Bok scrum went quite well – perhaps he was concussed, or watching another game? Lost the ball in contact too easily, including not being able to take a high ball that lead to the French try. And to crown the performance, he was yellow carded for killing the ball.

Schalk Burger: 5/10
I have never seen him pass as much as he did, or pass as well as he did. But he conceded an early penalty, missed a few tackles, and coughed the ball up too many times in the tackle. As a linking number 7, he did not fulfil that role.

Heinrich Brüssow: 9/10
And Peter de Villiers wanted to drop him? The Boks' best player by a stretch. Multiple steals through yeomen work at the breakdown and excellent defence. With the rest of his team mates coughing the ball up so regularly, Brussow was the man who kept the Boks in the game.

Victor Matfield: 5/10
A few great steals on the opposition throw, but had two stolen from him! Was the cut on the eye a little “Welcome back to France” gift that distracted the Bok vice captain?

Bakkies Botha: 5/10
Solid on his own ball in the lineout. Powerful scrumming behind a struggling Smit. Bled for the cause, but one has to wonder what caused that blood and if said blood took away some focus from the Bok hard man. Gave away a pretty silly penalty for pulling down a maul.

John Smit: 4/10
High work rate and put in some good tackles. Gave away a penalty at a ruck, and was part of the scrum troubles in the second half, though. In my opinion, Smit can only handle 60 minutes of rugby at tighthead before his battery runs out. That cross kick that went over the deadball line was a shocker! Got the Bok try, but it was not exactly the hardest finish in world rugby.

Bismarck du Plessis: 3/10
Gave away a penalty or two, missed a few lineouts, coughed up ball in the tackle, and slipped off a few tackles. A poor game.

Tendai Mtawarira: 3/10
Invisible. Part of the scrum that did ok in the first half, but also part of the scrum that came undone in the second half. No ball carries and no big tackles. Perhaps his worst game in the Bok jersey.

Use of the bench: 0/10
Again hopeless, and Peter de Villiers really needs to work on this skill. Why would you replace the loosehead prop with a tighthead when you have a loosehead on the bench? De Villiers seems to be too damn scared to take his skipper off the bench after the first Lions Test scare. Why have two props on the bench then? The entire front row should have been replaced after 60 minutes and Matfield made captain. Not that it would have changed the result though …

In a game that was not working out well for the Boks, Wian du Preez and  Ruan Pienaar were not used at all, Adriaan Strauss and Wynand Olivier were on the field for ten minutes, and CJ van der Linde was used on the looshead side!

Andries Bekker was on for twenty minutes and managed to get flattened in a tackle and cough up the ball, while Danie Rossouw did not impress when called upon to replace Burger. A little unfair on the latter, though, as in my eyes, he should be the lock replacement.

South African anthem singer: Minus 6/10!
The French seemed to pick the winner of the local bottle store karaoke competition and stick a microphone in front of him. I have never heard a song butchered so badly. Atrocious really, but not something that should have got the players in a tizz, as has been inferred by Victor Matfield, who was aggrieved at not being able to sing along and seeing spectators giggling.

Lanning is the author of the Front Row Grunt blog


  • eben - 2009-11-14 10:47

    i really believe the anthem singer was an insult to our country, but Take nothing away from the French, they bullied our 'big' boys at the breakdown.

  • Wayne Barnes Minus 1000/10 - 2009-11-14 10:50

    wayne barnes cost us the game...he is an idiot and shouldn't be allowed to ref

  • Piet - 2009-11-14 10:55

    The French should get fined, they knew what they were doing getting that plonker to sing the anthem? We can always return the favour when the they come to Sa. Shocking performance, the most phases we've manged was 4. I can go through a list of things we did badly in short...everything!!!

  • Renny - 2009-11-14 10:56

    I think we lost because of the guy singing the SA anthem, he was terrible, what a slap in the face

  • NCT - 2009-11-14 10:57

    I agree that the Boks were there own worst enemies out there last night. But why the hell would you score the anthem singer as higher then the average bok and at the same time admit he was atrocious? Matfield had a right to complain about it, and guess what, none of the Springboks blamed the poor singing for the loss. Get real dude...

  • Dean - 2009-11-14 11:05

    The French played out of their skin, no doubt, but reflecting on some of our best performances this season we could have matched the French easily. The turnovers and missed tackles cost us a lot, as well as the creaking scrum as you said. Beast had a quiet game, he looked as if his mindset wasn't right or out of focus. I wonder if it had anything to do with our meddling politicians and sport administrators... This issue of having bad singers for our National anthem on away games really needs to be addressed at higher levels. It's happened in Australia as well this season and in New Zealand. It can't be a good way to start your game when something you are so proud of gets butchered.

  • isakd - 2009-11-14 11:07

    my friend PdV your voice is the problem. in the heat of the moment the wrong prop was sent on the field...joke. you made a mistake and a few others. john supports you as he is supported by you. but please realise you loose tests with naughty players. Steyn Habana even Fourie du Preez run around like a headless chicken. Why, everybody including John was rattled. Victor and Bakkies was targeted and yes influenced. we need a strong scrum and yes bulldose the oponents. if not then our confidence is down the drain.

  • Warren - 2009-11-14 11:08

    @ NCT - How can "minus 6" out of 10 be better than the average Bok rating? What are you on about?

  • lee - 2009-11-14 11:10

    Forget about the anthem - Why do we cry like girls at every opportunity, I'm sure the French were equally embarrased. How was the French passion? Thats what we need.

  • fish - 2009-11-14 11:11

    Rugby aside, I think the way they sung our national anthem was an absolute disgrace. I have never heard something more disrespectful, it was disgusting! South African authorities should lodge a formal complaint!

  • fish - 2009-11-14 11:12

    Rugby aside, I think the way they sung our national anthem was an absolute disgrace. I have never heard something more disrespectful, it was disgusting! South African authorities should lodge a formal complaint!

  • Malcolm - 2009-11-14 11:15

    The rating for John Smit is far too kind - it should be 1 out of 10 (despite the try). He is a handicap in the scrum, does little of any value elsewhere and his so called leadership doesn't exist anymore!

  • Tin Tin - 2009-11-14 11:22

    The Sharks (Bok) frontrow showed in the Currie Cup semifinal what they are capable of, NOTHING, and the fact that we didn't take that to heart is worse that the anthem. Adi is not good enough, Kankowski showed why Pierre Spies is our best no 8, in his place Johnson or Deysel? Morne cannot dictate a game, his goal kicking is excellent but he is still not a natural flyhalf, there is a reason why he sat on the bench when Derick Hougaard played. Morne with Fourie is acceptable but if Fourie is under pressure, Steyn is nowhere. The solution: Pick CJ, Adriaan and Wian to start, Johnson at 8 and Wynand at 12.

  • Green for ever - 2009-11-14 11:26

    French were ready and prepared.......... Boks missed a fullback, center, eightmann(twinkle tows out of his depth) and frontrow(Bismark casualty of his props). Boks 'enforcers' were 'hit' into submission. Fly half didn't even show-up! THE FRENCH were READY, Boks NOT!! Boks will bounce back gaurenteed!

  • Burgiesburnin - 2009-11-14 11:32

    South Africa got away with a lot of fouls, high tackels and kicking players on the ground to mention a few. You lot cant blame the ref, you got away with murder. I hope Habana gets what he deserves for his cowardly actions, blame the singer cos you cant blame the ref. We all know, SA alway find some excuss. World Champions, ya right.

  • Geejay - 2009-11-14 11:33

    The problem is that our players have all become a little to precious. If you think this team is going to have any chance of winning a world cup think again. It is time for John to call it quits. If we don't get young blood and strong young blood into that front row then why even try and get another world cup. I thought Burger was particularly poor, he refuses to tackle low and it is time we brought some new WP Blood into the loose forward trio. Kankowski was so poor that I think he should be dropped from the squad and go back and hone his skills with the Sharks. Personally I thought he was a major cause of our loss. Beast was okay and I think that he continues in my eyes to grow in stature. But we should have replaced the entire front row after 60. Both Bakkies and Victor were manhandled and dominated. The French went for them and succeeded in getting the pair broken up during various important parts of the game. I thought Barnes was a poor excuse for a ref, he was inconsistent allowing French players to join and challenge the maul from the side but blowing SA for the same offence. He was clearly out of his depth and the blood of both Victor and Bakkies stands testament to his inability to ref at this level. All in all a poor game of Rugby and quite frankly I expect more dismal performances from this side that is just too old to be able to contest going forward. Quite frankly what we are seeing is the end of the Jake White success story and now PDV and the boys have to rise to the challenge of crafting a new young and strong side.

  • vivian malema - 2009-11-14 11:43

    i said from the start im not supporting this lilly white team. good thing the french won.get the colour balance in the team right!!!! and if the singer was white,nothing would have been pathetic!!!

  • Tshepo - 2009-11-14 11:44


  • chameleon - 2009-11-14 11:46

    the free state has been feeding the nation with quality players for years. right now, the salvation of s.a. rugby yet again lies in the call-up of a few free state players. scrumming, as all seem to agree, is the problem. the back line had a bad day. we need to think ahead too, these ou ballies aren't going to last past 2010. and please, my dear fellow disappointed countrymen, stop embarrassing us and making us look stupid by blaming the ref.

  • greenandgold - 2009-11-14 11:52

    I wonder who is the "cancer" in the bok scrums.....Smit should go and play club rugby and leave the scrumwork to the big boys...

  • JJ - 2009-11-14 11:53

    Pieter must swim back to SA !! May be they sould have asked him to sing the anthem .......thime for a nwe career!

  • ronnierobot - 2009-11-14 11:53

    give the french their due they deserved to win and played better on the night our boys were tired and I am proud of them we are still number one ranked team and beat all blacks 3 times this year we were away from home atrocios weather and home twon ref - although we got that rub against Lions so we cant complain now for Italy and the Irish who we will take apart

  • JJ - 2009-11-14 11:55

    Pieter must swim back to SA !! May be they sould have asked him to sing the anthem .......thime for a nwe career!

  • Anthem lover - 2009-11-14 11:58

    When the Frence visit us maybe we must ask Pieter d V to sing their anthem ..... this way we will return their favour

  • Stupid - 2009-11-14 12:01

    Vivian, do you now anything about rugby?? Shut up or talk about rugby!! this is not a ANC forum...

  • JJ - 2009-11-14 12:04


  • scipio - 2009-11-14 12:06

    Firstly we missed : Pierre Spies, Frans Steyn and Jean De Villiers. Pierre Spies most of all, Kankakski just isn't at the same level. Infact He should be banned from SA rugby forever. He cost us the game, Although we didn't deserve to win. Any way. With those 2 players we WOULD have won because now our whole centre combination is stuffed up with Adi kicking every ball away. Now if Morne Steyn decides not to kick why the heck do you want to ADi Jacobz??? It's enough that steyn kicks 90 percent of possession away then you have to add another 9 percent. What a useless gutless centre adi is. But infact you can't expect the Boks to perform all that well. My advise is, Send our top stringers home, Like Fourie, Victor, bakkies, Smith, Brussow, Steyn, Jaque Fourie, etc etc etc and let the young guys finish this tour for us, The players looked tired. John summed it up nicely after the game. The players want to perform but just don't possess the fatigue the French do. It's the start of the french Season. We Still the best in the world. Stop acting asif we lost the world cup already. This aint SA cricket. These guys are men, not woman like our cricket Girls

  • bull - 2009-11-14 12:08

    Rugby is a 15 man game and you can't blame it on a single player. the French was the better team.

  • @Vivian Malema - 2009-11-14 12:08

    You are such a chop!!!! Why don't you go and strike or toi toi. Something that you are good at instead of commenting on something you clearly know nothing about.

  • Rob - 2009-11-14 12:08

    Vivian Malema should not have been allowed to comment ........ she is a racist sow, probably related to our Einsteinian Julius! And colour blind too!

  • bull - 2009-11-14 12:09

    Rugby is a 15 man game and you can't blame it on a single player. the French was the better team.

  • Gaylord - 2009-11-14 12:24

    The whole front row is bombing, not just the Captain! Heinrich Brussow - what a Boytjie!! Our Man of the Match!!!

  • Delfino - 2009-11-14 12:24

    nothing wrong with our local bottle store singers, and Div needs to focus on playing players to suit the conditions (no offence to ryan K) but conditions up north do not suit his game.However , at least we can all see the problem areas that Div now needs to work on after that game and also judging by Tanks accurate player ratings.

  • Stevo - 2009-11-14 12:50

    In all fairness i have to say that the french are probably repaying every country that messed up their anthem. but please let me sing the french anthem next time they play here. i will pay for the honour of messing it up. Or get that same rasta to mess it up. Or even better, lets get Kurt Darren to sing it.

  • WP man - 2009-11-14 12:53

    Last night it was evident that there was a complete absence of leadership. Smit was not entrusted with the captaincy for the important semi-finals. If even the Sharks do not trust this man’s leadership, how on earth can he be the captain of a test team? Yes, he was an above-average player and an EXCELLENT captain, but sadly no more. Time to call it a day, big man.

  • On the Money - 2009-11-14 12:55

    Great assessment Tank. You are on the money re the use of the replacements - maybe someone ought to educate DIV on this aspect of the game. And how about saying adios to AD Jacobs, Kirchner and Beast. We have the talent and depth in SA Rugby - how about utilsing it effectively. Please do not screw up a team which has the potential to reign as world champs for another 4 years!!! Take note coaches!!!

  • Muzza - 2009-11-14 12:56

    VIVIAN there is only one pathetic re this entire issue and thats YOU - an uneducated pathetic person - one turns to address the racial issue when all other debaitable arguments are exhausted and in fact a very insecure comment - CATCH A WAKE UP or go to Zimbabwe where fools are required

  • DIAN - 2009-11-14 13:00

    TOBurgiesburnin-- TO YOU YES..Baaaaaad post. And right, we are the WORLD CHAMPS you who do you support. I dont see them having beaten the Lions, Tri Nat Champs, Being World Cup Champs..yes we will carry on about this for the next 8 years-- untill someone else maybe manages to take it away from us. Baaaaaad comment.

  • All the way France - 2009-11-14 13:04

    Vive la France. Well done France. They have a lot of new young players and the bokkie had all their "best" players. 0 out of 2. Bokkie way to vindgat. They got a lesson in rugby and it is not over yet? Non bok supporter.

  • johann - 2009-11-14 13:04

    the anthem was delibratly a insult to the boks, i hope japan gives bafana a good hidding maybe the tune will change. i do not follow rugby , the only thing i know about the sport is that the bokke is the world champs, respect is earned if the anthem can not be sung properly and with respect make a proper recording and play it, show some nation/country pride

  • mark - 2009-11-14 13:07

    I told you Friday the 13th was going to be a long night for Div and his favourites. The beast has left Mtwarira after the first Lions test, Bismarck has lost the plot, John can retire and Kankowski is a showboat, cannot do the hard grafting and no physificality. horses for courses put potgieter or deysel in. if div carries on like this the Scots will beat us in 4 years time

  • TS - 2009-11-14 13:08

    amazing how you bok fans complain about Barnes. A lot of you were saying how the all blacks moaned too much about him in the 2007 quarter final of the RWC. it's always great when the shoe is on the other foot! Oh, please see JJ Haremse's excuse column in conjunction with tank's.

  • walt - 2009-11-14 13:12

    The WORST part of the whole game was the national anthem - what disrespect to get an idiot to "sing" our anthem - way out of tune. To do that to a guests national anthem is a disgrace and should include some jail time. Try doing that to a very proud and patriotic nation like the USA, where it is a common site to see USA flags flying in people's front yards, and it would be regarded in the most serious light. The rugby ? yes we played badly, gave away possession, but I also think that the ref was misguided in giving so many penalties against us. There was no reason to yellow card Morne Steyn

  • Ashley - 2009-11-14 13:15

    Watch the Habana 'kick' again.. the guy on the floor pulls Habanas leg into him!

  • green supporter - 2009-11-14 13:16

    @vivian malema -HA HA HA! Thank you for an absolute useless comment. It's people like you who keep racism alive in the world, - and things like that always blows up in your face...HA HA HA again...

  • andyb - 2009-11-14 13:20

    Please let P.Divvy sing the French anthem when they vist shores. That will f@ck 'em!

  • Ant - 2009-11-14 13:30

    Pity that Spies failed his steriods test again and was left at home. Kankowski was woefull, he is about as good as Deysel at holding onto the ball when going forward. Between the 2 of those clowns you would think the ball is a piece of soap. I would pick Ashley Johnson at no.8. You can't have that bad of a game for the Springboks and not be dropped! Of course, by far the most consistant and reliable no.8 in the Currie Cup is not available for selection because he now plays for Bath.

  • vuyo's wors - 2009-11-14 13:38

    pdv and management should have pulled the players when that rasta drug abuser scumbag started singing. It was a deliberate insult and know we know why the WHOLE world hates the french. I hate them even more now. Zuma should step up and demand an apology from the french racists they insulted all us black africans. amandlaaaa!

  • clivo from Tasmania - 2009-11-14 13:44

    I agree with stevo,the crazy guy trying to sing our anthem,was completely tone deaf and off key-he should be arrested for contempt! I knew the french were stong and were going to klap us but to lose our inspiration at the anthem was a monumental blunder

  • Jan - 2009-11-14 13:47

    The singer 0/10