One gets a more balanced perspective on your team’s performance when you see what the opposition has to say. We copied the comments in the UK Telegraph, and inserted Sunday’s rating by Rapport in brackets, then our rating last.
Willie le Roux – One moment of pure class with a collect and pass out of the back of the hand for Reinach’s try. 7 (6). MS 7.
JP Pietersen – Just was not in the game in either attack or defence. 5 (6) MS 5.
Jan Serfontein – Read Care’s pass like a children’s book to score and had set the early tone with huge hit on Care. 7 (8). MS 7.
Jean de Villiers – Not the captain’s most outstanding performance, especially when crazily opting for the corner at 25-20. 6 (5) MS 6.
Bryan Habana – Nearly escaped early on but otherwise was very quiet.6 (6). MS 5.
Pat Lambie – Missed one touch badly but otherwise was calm and composed. Lovely chip for Reinach’s try. 7 (6). MS 8.
Cobus Reinach – Not a bad first start. Kicked superbly in the first half and was on hand to score his first international try. 8 (7). MS 7.
Tendai Mtawarira – We did not hear that scream ‘Beast!’. He was not prominent in the loose. 6 (5). MS 4.
Adriaan Strauss – Nothing special really. South Africa’s line out was solid but Strauss was replaced on the hour. 6 (6). MS 6.
Jannie du Plessis – South Africa’s scrummage was not wholly comfortable but Du Plessis made a lot of tackles around the field. 6 (6). MS 6.
Eben Etzebeth – Typically robust and classy performance from the abrasive lock. Made a host of tackles and won oodles of line-out ball. 8 (7). MS 8.
Victor Matfield – One knock on in the first half but a mountain of tackles, but then a yellow card during which England scored twice. 5 (5). MS 6.
Marcell Coetzee – He wore No 6 but packed down on the openside and was always a menace at the breakdown from there. 7 (8). MS 8.
Schalk Burger – Outstanding. Complained of a bang to the head in the first half but emerged from the driving maul to score South Africa’s third try. 8 (7). MS 8.
Duane Vermeulen – Did not make the yards in attack but tackled monstrously and was always rugged in contact. 7 (7). MS 8.
Such ratings will always be controversial, and we would love to hear your views. The team, as a clinical unit, would score 8 on my barometer, and England 6 for failing to convert their first half superiority into points.
Any win over the Aussies is always gladly accepted. The clinical decimation of the Aussies while they were batting was superb, both from a bowling and fielding perspective. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I would have liked to see us win with only two or three wickets down.
The selectors will need to find a way to restore the balance in the side. The two all-rounders, McLaren and Parnell lack form, and is costing the side. The fact that we may want to consider two spinners for the next match may just see the inclusion of Robbie Peterson, who is a more than useful lower order batsman in addition to his bowling skills.
Kyle Abbott looks like the player to address our problems with death bowling, but our brittle batting performance thus far may just count against him.
Hopefully this will improve on a less bouncy pitch.