RWC 2019 player ratings – Wales vs South Africa

by Jacob Jaffa |

Final Score – Wales 16 – South Africa 19

An injury-struck Wales cling on but are overpowered by a hungry South African side in a scrappy game


1. Wyn Jones – 6/10

As with many other Welsh players went off early so hard to rate. Won a crucial turnover to stop South African momentum but under significant pressure at scrum time.

2. Ken Owens – 6/10 

Solid lineout and stout in defence, as usual, but scrum creaked and gave away significant penalty, entering a maul in the side.

3. Tom Francis – 5/10

Pressured in the scrum but it was most stable with him in. Came of early after hurting his shoulder tackling Vermuelen.

4. Jake Ball – 7/10 

Provided a good target in the line out and was ferocious both in defence and attack but came off at 59 mins.

5. Alun Wyn Jones – 5/10

A disappointing end to his campaign. Very quiet game, making little impact in lineout and carrying. Strong defence but his performance was not as good as we are used to.

6. Aaron Wainwright – 6/10

Good breakdown work again and useful in defence. Didn’t make a big impact and came off at 68 minutes.

7. Justin Tipuric – 6/10

See Wainwright’s description except he went the full 80.

8. Ross Moriarty – 4/10

Made little impact with his carries. Shaken after being taken in the air and dropped a fairly standard restart.

9. Gareth Davies – 5/10

Distributed well but not quite on the ball today. Failed to provide a spark in the attack and kicks were hit and miss. Came off at 47 minutes, deeply unusual for a scrum half.

10. Dan Biggar – 4/10

Gathered high ball well and kicked mostly accurately. Little imagination in attack beyond the first 20 minutes. Tackle technique poor, giving up yards and, eventually, a try by fudging tackles on De Allende.

11. Josh Adams – 5/10

Scored a walk-in for Wales only try. Chased kicks well and good defence but added little to the game. Looked frustrated and stroppy.

12. Hadleigh Parkes – 5/10

Typical hard carries and tackles but, and this seems to be a theme with Wales, little imaginative attacking play. The whole back line felt a bit like it was going through the motions.

13. Jonathan Davies – 4/10

One wonders if he really recovered from the knee injury that ruled him out of the last match. Barely heard his name in this game.

14. George North – 4/10

Best kick chaser of the match and took the high ball well. Shame he pulled his hamstring just before half time. Had no chance to make an impact.

15. Leigh Halfpenny – 4/10

Solid under the high ball but didn’t provide the attacking threat of Williams. Slightly surprising that he didn’t get the chance to use his massive boot on some long-range penalties to keep Wales in it.

South Africa

1. Tendai Mtawarira – 7/10

A good game from ‘the Beast’. Put heavy pressure on Tom Francis and then Dillon Lewis in the scrum and made some big hits in the loose. Not really used as a carrying threat these days. In the twilight of his career but a fitting way to go out.

2. Mbongeni Mbonambi – 6/10

Good throwing kept the Bok lineout ticking over. Front and centre in dominant scrum display. Strong performance.

3. Frans Malherbe – 5/10

Contributed well in the scrum, though his raw power was hiding some poor technique. Though a starter the scrum actually improved when he was replaced by Koch.

4. Eben Etzebeth – 5/10

Good lineout work but lost the Boks a throw-in, their first in 57 consecutively. Not really missed when he came off as power and lineout nous was more than matched by R.G. Snyman.

5. Lood De Jager – 6/10

Similar to Etzebeth but provided more of a carrying threat. Again, not missed too much when replaced by Mostert, showing the Bok’s fantastic depth at lock.

6. Siya Kolisi – 7/10

Tackled hard and slowed Welsh ball well. High rating due to exceptional captaincy to bring a recently awful Boks team to a World Cup final. A big statement, especially as the Rainbow Nation’s first black captain.

7. Pieter-Steph Du Toit – 5/10

Defended well but gave away a couple of penalties. Lucky not to be spotted for a high tackle early in the game in front of the posts, especially as 3 points proved the difference in the end.

8. Duane Vermuelen – 6/10

Not his biggest performance but still one of the better carriers on the field. Looked hurt by a hard landing from taking a high ball but carried on stoically. Good solidity at the back of the scrum.

9. Faf De Klerk – 6/10

Often seen as the heart of the team. Classically strong defence and fast distribution but a mixed bag on kicking. Some were sublime but some aimless which gifted the Welsh back possession. Fumbled a high ball to give Wales an attacking platform that led to 3 points.

10. Handre Pollard – 4/10

Not a MOTM performance in my eyes (an award I would give to De Allende). Kicked well off the tee but from the hand was very poor. Wayward kicks in Wales’ 22 which killed attacking momentum. Also failed to communicate that he was kicking on several occasions, leading to a weak chase. Made a nice break which set up De Allende’s try.

11. Makazole Mapimpi- 5/10

A little starved of ball on the wing. Overran a few kicks as well. When he did carry he carried hard but Wales did well to keep the joint highest try-scorer of the tournament out of the game, allowing Josh Adams to overtake him.

12. Damian De Allende – 9/10

Great performance at inside centre. Such a powerful runner and targeted Biggar well, carrying him for extra yards and putting his team on the front foot. Created most of the Boks’ momentum and scored the try that won it for them, brushing off 3 Welshmen to power over.

13. Lukhanyo Am – 6/10

Defended well but didn’t provide too much in attack. Overran on kick chase and failed to compete in the air.

14. S’Busiso Nkosi – 4/10

Not an adequate replacement for the injured Cheslin Kolby, who provides a certain electricity that Nkosi does not. Can’t be criticised for shooting in on the ball carriers out wide in defence, as that is what a winger is meant to do in the rush defence, it was occasionally done thoughtlessly. Failed to read play and stepping in allowed Wales to pull the ball back and find space outside. A weak link today.

15. Willie Le Roux – 3/10

A really poor performance today. He has not been on form in the tournament at all. Provided nothing in attack and often kicked attacking ball away poorly. Muffed a kick reception in wide open space, giving Wales a platform in South Africa’s half.