New Bok star

Edwill van der Merwe. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/Sports Inc

New Bok star and Saturday’s Man of the Match

Saturday’s Man of the Match, Edwill van der Merwe, made a sensational Springbok debut in their match against Wales.

New Bok star

Edwill van der Merwe. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/Sports Inc

Lions wing Edwill van der Merwe made a sensational Springbok debut. His man-of-the-match performance helped the Springboks beat Wales in their season opener at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon.

Star performance by Edwill van der Merwe

The Springboks kicked off their 2024 season on a winning note against Wales at Twickenham on Saturday. They showed a strong second-half performance after a narrow 14-13 halftime lead. The final winning score against Wales was 41-13. The Springboks will arrive in South Africa on Monday, 24 June.

New Bok star Edwill van der Merwe was one of four players making their first appearances for the Springboks in yesterday’s match against Wales. He was the star of the game, beating four defenders, making two clean breaks, running 71 metres, and successfully completing all three of his tackle attempts.

After the final whistle, 38% of fans decided that Van der Merwe had the greatest influence on the win in a poll. Consequently, he received the Man of the Match award. Aphelele Fassi, playing his first Test since 2022, came second in the poll, receiving 27% of the votes.

What coach Rassie Erasmus had to say

Following the victory, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said that although it was not a perfect performance, they achieved their goal. Erasmus said that they made a few mistakes during the game. He added, ‘There were things that didn’t click, but there were others that did, so it was a good start’.

“We have new coaches and had a few players making their debuts, so there were areas of the game that were not as good as we would have liked it to be, but there was certainly no lack of effort and intensity, and we realise it will take time for things to come together nicely. The important thing is that we achieved our goal and the players who made their debuts showed that they are capable at playing at this level.”

Rassie Erasmus, Springbok coach

Van der Merwe’s two stand-out moments

Edwill van der Merwe had two significant moments during the match on Saturday, as reported by The Citizen.

The first was in the 22nd minute. Wales intercepted a pass from Jordan Hendrikse in the Boks’ half and sprinted away towards the 22m area. Van der Merwe made a double try-saving tackle, resulting in a knock-on and a missed opportunity for Wales.

The second significant moment was in the 75th minute when he received the ball from a ruck just outside the Welsh 22m line. The new Bok star skilfully evaded a player, broke through a tackle attempt, and sprinted away to score his first international try, securing a memorable performance.

After the match Van Der Merwe said he was grateful for the opportunity and hoped it would not be his last. He said that he hoped to make the Bok squad that will be named for the incoming series against Ireland and Portugal.