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Springbok star Kwagga Smith against Romania. Photo: @Springboks / X.

Home » Springbok forwards player ratings: Big boys bash Romanians

Springbok forwards player ratings: Big boys bash Romanians

The Springboks put on a show as they whacked Romania in their Pool B clash in Bordeaux on Sunday afternoon. Here we hand out some Springbok key player ratings.

18-09-23 13:56
Springbok squad
Springbok star Kwagga Smith against Romania. Photo: @Springboks / X.

The Springbok squad was absolutely ruthless in their approach from start to finish at the Stade de Bordeaux and the forward dominance is what laid the foundation for the backs to flourish. 

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South Africa were always favoured to come away from this encounter as the big winners despite fielding several of their second-string players. And so it came to pass: the Springboks ran riot against the poor Romanians to ultimately come away with a 57-0 victory.

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Given more freedom to operate, the Springboks’ second-stringers enjoyed the opportunity to express themselves and pad their points differential in poolplay.

Here we take a look at some key forward player ratings for the Springboks.

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8. Duane Vermeulen — Close to his productive best, was Vermeulen. Worked tirelessly in defence and at the back of the scrum, while he also snuffled several turnovers. 8/10

7. Kwagga Smith — The star of the breakdown show. Kwagga ran around the field with intent from the start and was the one who caused the most damage to Romania’s breakdown points. A menace who is playing with loads of confidence at the moment. 9/10

6. Marco van Staden — “Eskom” as he is known, is often made out to be the fall guy. But he was outstanding today. Van Staden started at open side flank, but moved to hooker, where the Springboks intent to use him for the remainder of the tournament, and slotted into the unfamiliar position effortlessly. 8/10

5. Marvin Orie — Starting the game, but was strangely subdued. Orie will disappointed with his no-show performance in the first half and would’ve probably made up for it in the second half, but he was hooked at half-time. 5/10

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4. Jean Kleyn — Had a game of two halves. He was too sharp in the first half, which was best illustrated when he made a knock on, a high tackle and failed to secure the ball at a lineout all in the space of three minutes. The lanky lock redeemed himself in himself with a dogged display in the second stanza. 7/10

3. Trevor Nyakane — Fast-tracked into the starting lineup, “Big Trev” didn’t look out of place one bit. Was complicit in dominant scrum. 7/10

2. Bongi Mbonambi — Contributed to a dominant scrum and as stand-in captain led from the front. With his team having sealed the bonus-point result early in the first half, the man who is now the Springboks’ primary hooker was taken off at the break as a precautionary measure. 7/10

1. Ox Nche — Did what was needed of him at scrum time, but wasn’t sighted much beyond that. 6/10

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16. Deon Fourie — Came on at the start of the second half and went on to score off the back of a maul with his first touch. His versatility was on full display, featuring at hooker for 20 minutes and then at open side flank for 20 minutes. An almost perfect 40-minute cameo. 8/10.

17. Steven Kitshoff — The Springboks’ “Spicy Plum” brought all the spice to the game. He was used a substitute in this game, but that didn’t stop him from producing one of his vintage performances. A highlight for him would be when he charged down the flank like a back. 7/10

18. Frans Malherbe — The big man was set for a big rest day, but an injury to Vincent Koch forced him to bring out the boots for another Test. Malherbe did what Malherbe does best, scrummed the opposition into oblivion. 7/10

19. RG Snyman — The man-mountain joined the fray at the start of the second half and immediately brought more stability and control to the Springboks’ lineout. He also showed out with ball in hand, completing a couple of offloads in open play. 7/10

20. Jasper Wiese — Picked up where Vermeulen left off. Didn’t set a foot wrong throughout the time he was on the field. As good a cameo as any. 7/10


Springboks Rugby World Cup
The Springboks will wear their traditional green and gold jerseys in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup match against Romania. Photo by SteveHaagSports/INPHO/Shutterstock/Backpagepix