Boks

Coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi embrace after the Boks’ last match. Photo: SA Rugby website

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Boks

Coach Jacques Nienaber and captain Siya Kolisi embrace after the Boks’ last match. Photo: SA Rugby website

The Boks managed to pull off a 38-21 victory at a packed Kings Park in Durban on Saturday, but it was a bitter-sweet result as the Springboks still ultimately finished second in the Rugby Championship.

So far this year, the Boks have won six games and lost three, but missing out on the Rugby Championship title in a year where the All Blacks really weren’t at their best has been seen by many as a missed opportunity.

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The Boks have expanded their player depth and made some key progress in certain areas, but the end-of-year tour – which will include games against leading sides such as Ireland and France – will be sure to provide a real test.

Following the conclusion of the Rugby Championship, let us know in the poll below how you would rate the Boks out of 10 in 2022?

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ALSO READ | PLAYER RATINGS: WHO SHONE, WHO FLOPPED?

The Springboks currently find themselves in third place in the latest World Rugby rankings following the conclusion of the 2022 Rugby Championship.

Tournament winners, the All Blacks, are in fourth.

Ireland continue to lead the way ahead of France, while Australia have plummeted to a lowly ninth place, below Argentina who finished bottom of the Rugby Championship log.

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TOP 10 IN THE LATEST WORLD RUGBY RANKINGS:

1. Ireland – 90.03

2. France – 89.41

3. South Africa – 89.00

4. New Zealand – 87.30

5. England – 86.25

6. Scotland – 81.93

7. Wales – 81.28

8. Argentina – 81.21

9. Australia – 80.65

10. Japan – 77.74

Doing the double over the Pumas, while picking up wins against both New Zealand and Australia represented progress according to coach Jacques Nienaber, although he also admitted there were key improvements still required.

“We had a plan to go full on to win the Championship. We were on task up to minute 35 and then they got a penalty and the score before half time changed the dynamics.

“I think we can’t fault the effort from the players. We all sat down and bought into giving it as good a shot as we could – unfortunately we came up short, but you must never take a win in the Bok jersey for granted and we won’t. It’s special…”

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The Bok side are next in action against Ireland, the No 1 ranked team in the world, in Dublin in November when Nienaber said they would have an even better idea of the team’s progress.

“We’re not where we want to be yet. We need consistency, and we’ll probably get a pretty good idea on our end-of-year tour. We play No 1 and No 2 [France] teams in the world and we have an SA A side, and it will be a challenging tour. But it will give us nice answers as to where we are.”

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi said “we had some great, great moments in the Rugby Championship, and we also had some weak moments”.

“We know we can win against anyone in the world on our day, but today was a big step forward because it was a third win in a row and we want to take that momentum with us into the end-of-year tour,” added the Bok captain.

The Boks finished one point behind New Zealand on the final standings

Nienaber noted that he had used 34 players in the tournament and that some questions had been answered over position depth.

“We built some squad depth. Some players got some experience but that wasn’t the main aim – which was to win the Rugby Championship and we fell short on that. But there were some positives to take out of it,” he said.

“We are in a better position now in terms of learning about certain positions than we were when we started. There was always this big issue around flyhalf and whether Damian (Willemse) could play there and hats off to Frans (Steyn) today, in a very short space of time he had to slot in and he will just get better in terms of that.

“We’ve also had Kurt-Lee (Arendse) and Canan (Moodie) come through and now Cheslin (Kolbe) has to perform if he wants to get back in – but we know he is quality, and we look forward to welcoming him back.”

WATCH | HIGHLIGHTS: SPRINGBOKS V ARGENTINA

Springbok team: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Subs: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Duane Vermeulen, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse.

Argentina team:  15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Matias Moroni , 12 Jeronimo De La Fuente, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Pablo Matera, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Eduardo Bello, 2 Julian Montoya (c), 1 Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro.

Subs: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Tomas Cubelli, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Bautista Delguy.

jasper wiese springboks