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Sunday Oct 22, 2023

South Africa player ratings: Bomb squad saves a misfiring unit

South Africa defeated England in the World Cup semi final in Paris last night in a match that will down in history for its intensity not its quality.

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How the Springbok players fared:

15 – Damian Willemse – 3
Poor game, couldn’t catch a cold. Struggled to make his elusiveness count in a game where small line breaks could have made a big difference.

14 – Kurt-Lee Arendse – 5
Normally a proper danger man but this time underused, especially when running into heavy traffic or chasing kicks.

13 – Jesse Kriel – 6.5
Did a job, nothing more.

12 – Damian de Allende – 5
Dominated by his opposite number Tuilagi. Completely out of the game. Would expect more from this player.

11 – Cheslin Kolbe – 5
Same as Arendse, not a game for wingers.

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10 – Manie Libbok – 3
Hooked off early and had no control over the game. Will be interesting to see whether he keeps his shirt for the final.

9 – Cobus Reinach – 4
Not yet secured the number nine shirt and will have done himself no favours heading into the final.

1 – Steven Kitshoff – 5
Beaten up on the scrum, not often that happens.

2 – Bongi Mbonambi – 5
Line outs all over the place, will need to work on that heading into the final.

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3 – Frans Malherbe – 5
Nothing wrong, just nothing right either. Quiet showing.

4 – Eben Etzebeth – 2
Normally so good, fell apart in this match and subbed soon into second half.

5 – Franco Mostert – 5
Tried to make up for his lock partners poor showing, but still struggled against the fired up English pairing.

6 – Siya Kolisi – 6
Solid enough showing, but will need to step up if he is to lead his team to victory over the All Blacks.

7 – Pieter-Steph du Doit – 5
Did his best to make a nuisance of himself facing the England attack, but came away short and ineffective.

8 – Duane Vermeulen – 7
Solid performance, did everything asked of him.

Replacements – 9/10

The bomb squad lived up to their name as they forced mistake after mistake from the English, with returning star Handre Pollard completed the process by breaking English hearts.

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