SHIT/GOOD Ratings: SA 49 Fiji 3
A thousand humble apologies for the late S/G ratings for this game. I got a wee bit smashed on Saturday after drinking champers and OJ from 8:30am. Terrible idea but a great day of rugby. First the Bokke played a very entertaining game and then the Aussies lost to Ireland. hmmm.... delicious.
The Springboks needed a strong showing after their stuttering start against Wales and coach Pieter de Villiers will be smiling ear to ear with the performance of all 22 players on the day. Fiji failed to get their game going and struggled to cope with the powerful Bok forwards. With that said let us dive into the S/R ratings starting with the not so good.
The Fijian scrum was almost non existent in this game and is one of the reasons for the heavy loss. In the last 15 minutes the Springbok scrum achieved two tightheads and scrummed the Fijians completely off the ball by driving them back 5 metres. Fiji will never be able to compete at this level until they sort out their scrums.
Fijian flank Dominiko Waqaniburotu for his dangerous tip tackle on Pat babyface Lambie. The tackle was not only illegal but also late and possibly a result of the frustrations of a side being dominated in almost every facet of play. He has been cited for his effort.
The Springbok defense was immense in this game. They may have missed a few first time tackles but they scrambles very well, swarmed all over the Fijian backline and never allowed them the space they needed to work their magic. The attitude on defense was excellent and the players definitely all took a step up in this department.
Frans Steyn and Jaque Fourie. Last Friday I spoke about how good Nonu and Smith were and the difference it made to the All Black game. The performance of Fourie and Steyn had just a telling impact in this game and Steyn had another cracker of a game, his second in a row. He scored a try off a quality little chip kick through by Brussouw and landed a 55m penalty kick in the first half. Fourie marshalled the defense to perfection and made a few telling breaks, all in all a sheer quality from the centres.
Danie Rossouw the MOTM. Danie took control of the lineouts in the absence of Victor Matfield and back up, Johann Muller. The versatile Bulls strongman has played at 6, 7, 8 , 4 and 5 in his career but is more suited to the lock positions. His handling let him down at times but he made up for this with his smash the barn door down and keep on going runs. He showed a great step and and all in all made over 110 metres with his runs. He, like most of the forwards enjoyed the forward battle and put in some hits on defense for good measure.
All in all the defending champs have put down a marker and should be a handful for the teams they will play. Looks like they will now face the Wallabies in the quarters, which could be a classic.Turns out they do know how to keep ball in hand and don't look too shabby when they run the ball, who knew? There is room for improvement but they have made a step (giant leap) in the right direction.Tweet
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