The Springboks’ tactical naivety lingered on as they fell to their second successive defeat in Dunedin on Saturday.
The All Blacks gave them every opportunity to cause a major upset but the Springboks were unable to feed off their hosts’ errors.
The goal-kickers left in excess of 20 points out on the park and their reluctancy to run the ball just amplified the frustration.
Heyneke Meyer certainly didn’t do himself any favours by sticking with Morne Steyn for an extra 20 minutes after half time after it was apparent that he was out of his element in the first half.
Discipline also cost the Boks dearly as they conceded their second yellow card in as many matches. Ultimately, it was a match the Boks lost rather than the All Blacks won.
Quintin van Jaarsveld rates the Springbok players.
15 Zane Kirchner
No threat on attack whatsoever and slipped three tackles. His poor pass behind Bryan Habana helped cough up an early try.
14 Bryan Habana
He butchered a certain try and tried to make amends for the duration of the game. His moment materialised in the 47th minute when he turned back the clock and produced a piece of individual brilliance. Certainly the most threatening of the Bok backs with ball in hand but also made a number of errors.
13 Jean de Villiers
The pressure on an underperforming team is rubbing off on the Springbok captain in no uncertain terms. He was out-of-sorts - highlighted by a no-look pass into touch - and his despondent demeanour didn’t little to instil confidence in his teammates.
12 Frans Steyn
He made one strong run to create a line-break only to undo it with poor decision-making. Slipped a few tackles and missed two kicks at goal.
11 Francois Hougaard
He created the early opportunity with good pressure on Piri Weepu and tried heavily to inject himself into the action.
10 Morne Steyn
A dreadful display by a player clearly lacking confidence and form.
9 Ruan Pienaar
Took much of the tactical kicking responsibility on himself and executed woefully. Most, if not all of his eleven kicks were wayward, resulting in incontestable chases and gifting the All Blacks possession.
8 Duane Vermeulen
Ineffective with ball in hand but contributed in the line-out and at the breakdown.
7 Willem Alberts
One of a few Boks who did himself justice, Alberts was a destructive force on defence. His brilliant big hit on Conrad Smith set the tone for an aggressive tackling display, but he had limited success on attack.
6 Francois Louw
He failed to take his opportunity as he was on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle for the duration of the game, conceding three penalties in all to give Meyer ammunition to back his dismissive theory on specialist fetchers.
5 Juandre Kruger
His line-out organisation was poor, which played a part in the Boks losing five balls on their own throw, and his workrate was well below par.
4 Flip van der Merwe
Whilst he couldn’t give the Boks the desired front foot ball with ball in hand, he was prominent in the line-out (with five takes) and topped the tackling stats with 13 hits.
3 Jannie du Plessis
He showed his commitment to the green and gold with a credible outing at less than 100 percent. Solid in the set-piece and made five tackles.
2 Adriaan Strauss
So effective on attack, Strauss was the Boks' go-to ball carrier with an unrivalled nine carries. He played with intensity his teammates lacked and put his body on the line, but his score was dragged down by his poor line-out throwing, which turned a traditional strength into a weakness on the day.
1 Tendai Mtawarira
Perhaps benefiting from a lack of quality competition for the Springbok number one jersey, Mtawarira coasted through the match and contributed little in open play.
16 Tiaan Liebenberg (on for Strauss,74th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
17 Dean Greyling (on for Mtawarira ,50th minute)
Possibly the worst cameo by a Springbok prop in history and as close to a nought as possible. The hapless Greyling conceded a penalty in his first act off the bench, followed it up with a cynical cleanout on Richie McCaw that saw him being yellow carded and concluded with another blatant infringement at the breakdown in the red zone.
18 Andries Bekker (on for Van der Merwe, 34th minute - blood, on for Kruger, 53rd minute)
He was a towering figure in the line-out and drastically improved the Boks’ success in this facet.
19 Marcell Coetzee (on for Alberts, 60th minute)
An industrious cameo in which he made a telling contribution on defence.
20 Johan Goosen (on for Steyn, 59th minute)
The young Test rookie showed no signs of ‘All Black jitters’ as he played flat to the line and slotted an excellent long-range penalty to momentarily keep the Boks in the contest.
21 Juan de Jongh
22 Pat Lambie (on for Kirchner,74th minute)
Not enough time to be rated.
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