Bokrometer: Siya Kolisi’s ‘industrious shift’ while Bulls’ hopefuls lay down a marker against Springboks front-row

Jared Wright
Split image featuring Siya Kolisi, Rassie Erasmus and Wilco Louw.

Our latest Bokrometer focuses on the Springboks depth in the back and front row.

Another weekend of club rugby has come and gone, and as the international season draws ever nearer, we look at the Springboks hopefuls pushing for higher honours and recap how some of the stars fared.

Wales boss Warren Gatland has already named his squad ahead of the Boks’ first international of the year at Twickenham Stadium. However, the Springbok hopefuls will have one final chance to impress Rassie Erasmus in the United Rugby Championship (URC) quarter-finals ahead of his first squad announcement.

In our latest edition of Bokrometer, we dive into the performances of players across the URC, Top 14 and Premiership.

JC Pretorius

The Lions fell cruelly short of making the URC play-offs but they put in a mighty effort against the Stormers and perhaps none more so than livewire flanker JC Pretorius, who also made our URC Team of the Week.

He was named player of the match in a losing effort, racking up an impressive 32 metres from just five carries, scoring a try and making 12 tackles. He was also a pest at the breakdown and with there being a tinge of doubt around Kwagga Smith’s fitness for the clash against Wales, perhaps Erasmus will turn to the ex-Blitzbok who is seemingly cut from the same cloth as the double World Cup winner.

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Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu

Staying with the action in Cape Town and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu marked his return to the Stormers’ starting XV with a superb kicking and defensive display to keep the Lions at bay. His double try-saving tackle was crucial in guiding the Stormers to victory, and he is certainly a player the Bok coaching staff will be closely monitoring.

With Damian Willemse sidelined, Feinberg-Mngomezulu may get his opportunity in Green and Gold sooner than expected but don’t be surprised if he is included in the wider training squad regardless.

WATCH: Springbok hopeful rescues Stormers with RIDICULOUS double defensive intervention

Ben-Jason Dixon

Stormers fans were pleased to spot the hard-working forward in a video on the Springboks’ social media accounts a few weeks ago and against the Lions, he showed exactly why the Bok coaches are taking notice.

Ben-Jason Dixon was once again right up there with the busiest players on the park, hammering Lions forwards backwards on defence while also winning a turnover, being a handy lineout option and a wilful cleaner. The Boks’ back and second-row is well stocked, but Dixon is a handy option in both roles and can certainly add abrasive and versatile value.

Sanele Nohamba

The Lions playmaker’s sensational season came to a swift end on Saturday with a head collision with Angelo Davids, forcing him from the pitch. Sanele Nohamba is highly rated by the Springboks staff, and they will have been pleased to see him walking around post-match, seemingly not struggling with concussion symptoms, which bodes well for him to make his Test debut against Wales potentially.

Neethling Fouche

It’s no secret that the Springboks love a tighthead who can dominate the set-pieces, and Neethling Fouche’s performance over the weekend will have Daan Human excited, with the Stormers star demolishing the Lions’ pack time and time again.

Fouche has been involved with the Bok alignment camps recently and is bound to be invited back into the squad going forward. His shift against the Lions reinforces why they are taking an interest in him.

Evan Roos

Evan Roos’ galloping charge to the try-line put the Stormers back in front at a crucial time in the match, but that was just the icing on the cake for another powerhouse performance by the back-rower.

He may have featured on the side of the scrum against the Lions but his performance was just another standout shift that could see him earn the backing of the Bok staff with Jasper Wiese banned for the Tests against Wales and Ireland.

It was an all-action performance racking up over 70 metres beating seven defenders and making 12 tackles to go with his breakdown work.

Elrigh Louw

Still, Roos will not have it all his own way in the race for the number eight Springbok jumper, with Elrigh Louw making another strong claim for a starting role.

He started in the number seven jersey against the Sharks and also produced a busy performance, landing 14 hits on defence and powering to 54 running metres, winning a turnover as well.

Jan Serfontein

Montpellier look set to feature in the promotion and relegation game for the Top 14 next season but Jan Serfontein may well be a crucial factor in their attempt to retain their top-flight status.

The former Bulls midfielder ran in a hat-trick of tries as Montpellier claimed just their ninth Top 14 win of the season.

With concerns around Lukhanyo Am’s fitness, perhaps Serfontein could earn his first cap for the Boks since Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber took over in 2018.

Siya Kolisi

Double World Cup-winning skipper Siya Kolisi was in fine form for Racing 92 this weekend. helping his side to a 24-15 victory over Pau.

The flanker made some hulking carries in the win over Pau, hammered into tackles and won a couple of turnovers in an aggressive and industrious 80-minute showing from the 32-year-old.

Cameron Hanekom

The ridiculousness of the Springboks’ back-row depth is highlighted by Cameron Hanekom also having a strong outing against the Sharks.

The youngster is vying for a maiden Test call-up after a breakout season with the Bulls and, like the aforementioned Louw and Roos, got stuck in all facets of the game. It’s no wonder he has been touted for a bright future in Green and Gold.

Bulls front-row steals the show

While the back-rowers certainly impressed, the Bulls’ front-row stole the show in Durban with Bok hopefuls Gerhard Steenekamp, Johan Grobbelaar and Wilco Louw putting the Sharks’ World Cup winners under the pump.

Grobbelaar grabbed yet another try for the Bulls and looks certain to finally break into the Bok squad this year after another dynamite showing paired with a stellar set-piece. Even his replacement, Akker van der Merwe, stepped up to score a late brace and push forward a claim for a recall, too.

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RG Snyman

Fortunate not to see a card early on in the encounter against Ulster, RG Snyman was on top form for Munster scoring a try and completing four offloads in a rather action-packed performance.

The Bok lock has had further injury setbacks this season again for Munster but looks to be in cracking form as the Irish province look to defend their URC title.

Juarno Augustus

Moving away from the URC and ex-Stormers number eight, Juarno Augustus, put in a mighty performance against Saracens in the Premiership semi-final on Friday evening.

The Saints forward impressed yet again with his carriers into the heart of the Saracens defence and with his all-round performance emphasising why ex-Springboks skipper Bobby Skinstad believes he deserves a shot at the Green and Gold jumper.

Thomas du Toit

Another success story from the Premiership semi-finals as Thomas du Toit produced yet another powerful scrummaging display as Bath defeated Sale Sharks 31-23 to book their place in the final.

It’s been a memorable season for the Bok front-rower, who is bound to become a key member of Erasmus’ squad, not only with his ability to play on both sides of the scrum but also his general performances around the park.

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