Springboks Handre Pollard and Deon Fourie celebrate together. Photo: @JaredWright via X / Twitter.

PLAYER RATINGS: Pollard perfect for Springboks, but who flopped?

The Springboks claimed a hard-fought Rugby World Cup win over Tonga Sunday night. Here we hand out some key player ratings.


Springboks Handre Pollard and Deon Fourie celebrate together. Photo: @JaredWright via X / Twitter.

The Springboks overcame a shaky start to claim an invaluable 49-18 win over Tonga at a packed Stade de Marseille Vélodrome in Marseille.

ALSO READ: RUGBY WORLD CUP | Live scoring — Springboks v Tonga

The result from this bruising encounter all but assures the Springboks’ safe passage through to the quarter-finals of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, where they are likely meet hosts France in Paris a fortnight from now, on 15 October.

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


12. Andre Esterhuizen 7/10

In a match marred by sloppiness and unforced errors by the Springboks, Esterhuizen hardly put a foot wrong. While others took a while to get into their stride, Esterhuizen was sharp from the outset and a constant threat at the heart of the bruising midfield battle.

10. Handre Pollard 7/10

Pollard needed big game in his first Test appearance in well over a year and produced the goods. While the flyhalf wasn’t too flashy on attack, he oozed confidence and class. He was flawless off the kicking tee and he was strong in contact. All and all, as good a 50-minute display Pollard could have hoped after such a long time away from Test rugby.

2. Deon Fourie 7/10

Worked tirelessly in defence and stood his ground the Tongans, most of who are twice his size. Fourie was also flawless in his execution of his hooker duties at lineout time and in the scrums. Scored one of the Springboks’ tries from the back of a rolling maul in the first half.

1. Ox Nche 7/10

His excellent scrummaging did nothing to dispel the growing belief among Springbok fans that he is the best scrummager in the world.

ALSO READ: Updated standings: How Springboks can qualify for quarter-finals


15. Willie Le Roux 6/10

Le Roux rarely has an off day when turning out for the Springboks. Unfortunately, today was one of those days. He made three telling mistakes in the first half. To his credit, the man considered the Springboks’ best playmaker did redeem himself in the second half with a superb try.

6. Siya Kolisi 6/10

Playing in his milestone 50th Test as Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi would have hoped to make a bigger impact. But was replaced early in the second half, having struggled to produce the sort of play we are accustomed to.

ALSO READ: Revenge? Springboks could meet Ireland in World Cup final

Springboks v Tonga result graphic
Springboks v Tonga result graphic. Photo: @RugbyWorldCup via X / Twitter.