South Africa, displaying a far more expansive approach to their game, ran out of steam after a good start and suffered a heartbreaking 9-14 loss to Australia in Durban on Saturday.
The Springboks failed to maintain the forward dominance they enjoyed in the first half and some questionable substitutions by the Bok coaching staff contributed to the fractured second-half performance.
There there is also concern over the hamstring injury that saw fullback Frans Steyn limp off.
Jan de Koning rates the South African players:
15 Frans Steyn:
A real mixed bag, as you come to expect of him. Great early penalty from 47m out and great head-on tackle on Elsom, but then handing the ball back to Australia with an ambitious 50-metre drop-goal attempt and ended up pulling his hamstring chasing a Fourie du Preez kick.
14 JP Pietersen:
Looked good with ball in hand and didn't slip too many tackles. Although he conceded penalty at the tackle.
13 Jaque Fourie:
Another big game from the veteran. There was a great steal when an Aussie try looked a certainty and some good first-half runs. Like the rest he struggled when the Aussies started to dominate the breakdown after the break.
12 Jean de Villiers:
He attacked the gain line well, but knock an early in the second half was characteristically of the drop-off in intensity that almost the entire team suffered.
11 Bryan Habana:
He was very busy, but jumped the defensive line and then left a gap - an old habit that again cost the Boks.
10 Butch James:
It was a mixed bag on defence, but his distribution made a difference to the Bok backline in the first half. His tactical kicking game can do with some improvement.
9 Fourie du Preez:
His tactical appreciation was the missing link in a misfiring Bok team over the last year. He is pure class, as he showed with the kick that almost resulted in a try for Jaque Fourie. The Boks' best back by far.
8 Pierre Spies:
One of his best games in the Green and Gold. Looking far more assured with ball in hand and strong with his carries, making good ground - some good work on defence as well.
7 Danie Rossouw:
His hands let him down on occasion, but he had some decent carries. He hit seven rucks and secured two turnovers.
6 Heinrich Brüssow:
He was really working hard on defence and although he once got pinged for obstruction, he secured some great steals. He even put in one nice little dash with the ball.
5 Victor Matfield:
Great hands on attack and solid on defence in the first half, but lacked puff after the break. Some decent work at the breakdown also.
4 Bakkies Botha:
His physical presence was a huge bonus for Boks in the first half, along with good work in the line-outs. Then there was a try-saving tackle. He should not have been replaced.
3 Jannie du Plessis:
Had the edge on Sekope Kepu in early scrum and showed his real value when he came back on late in the second half .... allowing the Bok scrum to go forward again.
2 John Smit (captain):
There was a good hit on Stephen Moore which knocked the ball loose, but again showed he is not a prop when he moved to tighthead in the second half.
1 Tendai Mtawarira:
His huge carries solicited the usual cries of Beeaaast and he was solid in the scrums, but then was penalised early in the second half. He looked puzzled and may had reason to be.
16 Bismarck du Plessis (on for Jannie du Plessis, 50th min):
There was a crucial steal that won a penalty soon after he came on, but then a poor pass that resulted in Fourie du Preez's clearance being charged down. Also some strong carries and made an impact.
17 Gurthrö Steenkamp (on for Tendai Mtawarira, 66th min):
A game he would rather forget. Spilled an easy pass and was under huge pressure in the scrums.
18 Gerhard Mostert (on for Bakkies Botha, 64th min):
Struggled to make and impact, unlike his last Test. Tried gamely, but Botha should have stayed on.
19 Jean Deysel (on for Heinrich Brüssow, 50th min):
One of the substitutions that can be questioned, unless Brüssow was very tired or injured. He failed to hold onto the ball with the tryline begging and also not making much ground with ball in hand.
20 François Hougaard (on for Bryan Habana, blood bin, 58 to 68 min):
A few decent chases, but not enough time to be rated.
21 Morné Steyn (on for Butch James, 68th min):
No real impact, except for a couple of decent touchfinders. But not enough time to be rated.
22 Gio Aplon (on for Francois Steyn, 50th min):
He was again exposed on the international stage. His touchfinders were simply not far enough and his hands was very shaky.
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