Springboks player ratings: Rapid Reinach and magical Mapimpi score hat-tricks in Romania thrashing

Jared Wright
Springboks Cobus Reinach and Makazole Mapimpi in action during the Rugby World Cup match against Romania

Springboks Cobus Reinach and Makazole Mapimpi in action during the Rugby World Cup match against Romania.

Following the Springboks’ comprehensive 76-0 victory over Romania in their second Rugby World Cup 2023 match, here is how we rated the defending champions.

Le Roux’s hat-trick of assists

15 Willie le Roux: A few hiccups with ball in hand, including two drops, but his positives far outweigh his negatives. He scored his first World Cup try and assisted three as he carved open the Romanian defence. 8

14 Grant Williams: Shook off an early penalty to score two tries in his second start for the Boks, notably out of his regular scrum-half role. Made his tackles, and impressed when he got the ball. 8


13 Canan Moodie: Botched a certain try when he had options on both sides, as he showed that he isn’t quite the finished product as an international player. A few missed tackles, but nothing too concerning as he showed some brilliance on attack. 6

12 Andre Esterhuizen: He didn’t get on the scoreboard but played a big role in the outcome as he regularly got over the advantage line, linked up well with Moodie and was resolute on defence. 8

Magical Mapimpi

11 Makazole Mapimpi: One of the two hat-trick heroes, and he saved his best for last with a glorious sidestep and sprint from inside his own half. He was named man of the match after barely putting a foot wrong. 9

10 Damian Willemse: A tidy shift at fly-half, but he wasn’t really asked anything too difficult by Romania. He ran the dominant attack well. He got a try for himself and nearly got another. He also kicked five of his six shots at goal. 7

Rapid Reinach

9 Cobus Reinach: Came close to breaking his record for the fastest try hat-trick in a World Cup match that he set against Canada four years ago as he dotted down three times in 24 minutes. He had the one missed communication with Williams but was otherwise brilliant. 9

8 Duane Vermeulen: A big shift from the veteran Bok number eight. He was excellent in all facets of the game, winning multiple turnovers, was a safe lineout option and gained over 60 metres with the ball in hand. 8

7 Kwagga Smith: A menace over the ball for the Romanian attack. He got three clean turnovers and was just as effective with his carries. 8

6 Marco van Staden: Dynamite with ball in hand, thrived with the responsibility of scrummaging at hooker, thundered into tackles and got a try assist. 8

Tight five

5 Marvin Orie: A slightly underwhelming World Cup debut from the usually excellent second-row. He won two lineouts with a few slipping through his fingertips. He made his six attempted tackles and was replaced at half-time. 6

4 Jean Kleyn: A bit lucky to just get away with a penalty for his tackle. Outside of that tackle, there was little wrong with Kleyn’s game as he was sharp at the lineouts and hard-working around the park. 7

3 Trevor Nyakane: Wore number 18 after a late withdrawal from Vincent Koch. He conceded a penalty at one scrum but was brilliant in that regard for the rest of his shift. Also busy around the park. 8

2 Bongi Mbonambi: A few wayward lineout throws as he and Orie struggled to link up. Outside of the set piece hiccups, he was part of a dominant scrummaging pack, carried superbly strongly and made his tackles in his 40-minute shift. 7

1 Ox Nche: Big ball carries, dominant at scrum time, earning a penalty try and made his tackle – not much more you could ask from the loosehead. 7

Replacements: The front-rowers picked up and continued the good work of the starters, with Deon Fourie having a particularly strong performance at hooker. Jaden Hendrikse looked a bit flustered, while Faf de Klerk had a good stint at fly-half. 8

READ MORE:Β Clinical Springboks cruise to one-sided win over hapless Romania in Bordeaux