Springboks player ratings: Bomb Squad blows Ireland ‘off the park’ after Jesse Kriel’s ‘masterclass’

Jared Wright
Springboks flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit and centre Jesse Kriel in action against Ireland.

Our Springboks' player ratings from the win over Ireland at Loftus

Following the Springboks’ 27-20 victory over Ireland at Loftus Versfeld, here is how we rated Rassie Erasmus’ charges.

Springboks player ratings v Ireland

15 Willie le Roux: Combined well with Handre Pollard on attack and was safe at the back for the Springboks. The attack looked far more fluid than it did against Wales and much of that success is down to Le Roux’s presence. 7

14 Cheslin Kolbe: He chased lost causes against France to make a crucial charge down and was rewarded again today with his try off the back of James Lowe’s error. He just never stopped and produced in a big Test yet again, which is a growing trend in his international career. 8

13 Jesse Kriel: Yet another brilliant display from the sensational centre in all facets of the game. He spread the ball well and made excellent decisions on attack while being sharp as always on defence. Another masterclass. 9

12 Damian de Allende: Powerful in the tight exchanges and showed his brute strength again, shrugging off Peter O’Mahony twice in a matter of seconds. Defensively sharp and was often used a good dummy runner. 7

11 Kurt-Lee Arendse: Got the Springboks off to the perfect start with a brilliant step past Jamie Osborne and was a real threat whenever he touched the ball. He defended reasonably well and his yellow card did put the Boks under pressure but he was simply the last to concede and paid the price. 7

10 Handré Pollard: Given a new lease with Tony Brown’s attack, and while his accuracy off the tee wasn’t great by his lofty standards, he made up for it with his game management and threat on the gainline. He kicked well out of hand, too. 6

9 Faf de Klerk: The Springboks scrum-half was given a hard time by the Irish defence, who looked to spoil and disrupt his services throughout his shift. He did manage to deal with it rather well on the whole and milked a penalty or two. 5

Planet Rugby player ratings key 10 - Career defining performance 9 - Outright blockbuster effort 8 - Significantly influenced the result of the game 7 - Committed and effective outing 6 - Flashes of brilliance outside of executing fundamentals 5 - Fulfilling the role required by position (base level) 4 - Poor execution of fundamentals 3 - Costly errors and/or discipline in the game 2 - Poor performance that directly impacted the result 1 - Grossly ineffective throughout 0 - Should have carried water instead

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8 Kwagga Smith: The brilliant back-rower had his issues under the high ball early on, but after shaking those off, he shone in all facets of the game, which is rather standard for him. He racked up over 30 metres with his carries and pestered the breakdown. 7

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit: Another beneficiary of Brown’s new attacking system. Du Toit produced another stunning all-action display. He made life hell for the Irish lineout, but even more so for the attack with his trademark heavy hits. He carried the ball superbly in the extremities and made great decisions in those situations, too. Powerful performance. 8

6 Siya Kolisi (c): He was certainly not ‘transparent’ today as the Springboks captain put in a mighty shift with and without the ball. He brutally shoved Robbie Henshaw to the ground and shone in the wider channels. As usual, he was excellent at the breakdown, too. 7

5 Franco Mostert: Every Mostert Test match is pretty much the same as he charges around the pitch, thundering into tackles topping the count before he left the pitch. He ran the lineout well, too. 7

4 Eben Etzebeth: Pestered Craig Casey’s box kicks, which is a standard for the towering second-rower. He was solid in the lineouts and impressed with his new distributing role in Brown’s attack. Not quite a box-office performance but another strong one. 6

3 Frans Malherbe: The world-class tighthead was put under pressure in the scrums by Andrew Porter but he did enough to stay on the right side of the whistle for the most part. Like his fellow front-rowers, he was accurate on defence and had some nice strong carries. 5

2 Bongi Mbonambi: Abrasive as ever in contact and rather accurate in the lineouts. He added some nice touches to the new attacking system, too. 6

1 Ox Nche: Like Malherbe, he was not as dominant in the scrums as he would have liked but he held his own and some against Tadhg Furlong. Landed some crunching hits on defence and had some nice carries. 5

Replacements: Erasmus rolled the dice by throwing all six of his ‘Bomb Squad’ forwards on in one swoop and was justly rewarded. There was little separating these two sides today, and ultimately, the bench made the difference, literally blowing Ireland off the park with the last scrum. 9

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