England 27-26 South Africa: fall international players rankings | Fall International


15 Freddie Steward Another try to cap off an impressive fall. Showed some vulnerability under high ball but not at the end. 7

14 Joe Marchant Was brought back to the midfielder’s normal position and made the revealing break for Quirke’s try. Excellent overall performance. 8

13 Henri Slade Belle went to Tuilagi to try and freed Marchant for Quirke’s. Had the courage to take matters into his own hands late. 9

12 Manu Tuilagi Was not going to be stopped for the opening test but got injured in the process. What a pity. 6

May 11 A bit of a stench after all. Beaten by Kriel early on before two clashes – the first of which will give him nightmares. 5

10 Marcus Smith Lives for times like this, and when he’s compelled to produce, he delivers. Ice was running through his veins for the last five minutes. 8

9 Ben Young Has had a strong campaign, but Smith wants a fast, accurate ball to thrive and he hasn’t been able to give it to him often enough. 6

1 Bevan Rodd Tied by Nché but continued to fend for themselves after a fearless start at scrimmage. Its emergence is a big plus. 7

2 Jamie Blamire Part of “Fight Club” in practice this week and will talk about that performance for a while. Took up the challenge. 7

3 Kyle Sinckler Relished the responsibility as England’s most experienced frontline at the start, but allowed four penalties. 5

4 Maro Itoje Produced another branded tear on Am, but the second-line South African duo did a good job of keeping it a secret. 8

5 Jonny Hill Another match with a few catchy moments but still has a long way to go before fully convincing at this level. 6

6 Courtney Lawes (captain) Led by example. Like most of his teammates, his discipline has not been flawless, but gives him credit for keeping England in the fight. 7

England’s Courtney Lawes and South African Eben Etzebeth are fighting for a roster. Photography: Tom Jenkins / The Observer

7 Sam Underhill Caught attention with a deft rounded pass. One of the many English strikers who struggled with the interpretation of the referee’s failures. 6

8 Tom Curry A display typically all in action against South Africa with some big hits, some turnovers won and some penalties conceded. 8


Nic dolly (for Blamire 60) 6; Joe marler (for Rodd 48) 7; Will stuart (for Sinckler 56) Showed a yellow card 5; Charlie ewels (for Hill 60) Lucky to escape the yellow 6; Sam simmonds (for Laws 73) n / A; Alex dombrandt (for Underhill 55) n / A; Raffi Quirke (for young people 49 years old) 6; Max Malins (for Tuilagi 8) Underused this fall 8.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux One or two aerial wobbles but meets the line when South Africa takes center stage so well. Shocking pass well placed to the right though. 7

14 Jesse Kriel A positive start, claiming the first high kick of the day, but was on the outskirts for large plays. 5

13 Lukhanyo Am Sometimes it was easy to see why South Africans thought he should have been nominated for World Player of the Year. 7

Siya Kolisi of South Africa receives a yellow card for a tackle against England's Joe Marchant.
Siya Kolisi is sent to the sin-bin. Photography: Tom Jenkins / The Observer

12 Damien de Allende Crushed Slade in the first half and produced a delicious unload after a break in the second. A class operator. 8

11 Makazole Mapimpi South Africa looked to clear him throughout and eventually they pulled it off with the wing scoring their only try. 7

10 Handré Pollard His kicks kept South Africa in touch in the first half but missed a few early in the second. Brings a calming presence. 6

9 Cobus Reinach Couldn’t produce the kind of fireworks that Northampton fans expected, but it wasn’t quite the type of match for it. 5

1 Roast Beef Found Sinckler difficult to deal with at first, but stuck to it and produced colossal success on Rodd. 6

2 Bongi Mbonambi Had line-up issues and was part of a front row that placed second before the Bomb Squad was called up. 4

3 Trevor Nyakane He got in the way on a restart and found himself a worthy opponent of Rodd. Impossible to make his presence felt. 5

4 Eben Etzebeth Another monumental battle with Itoje – taking over their rival from last summer – and gained in influence as the match progressed. 7

5 Jager’s Lood Maintained pained in the engine room, putting the hard sites before making way for Mostert. It must be horrible to play against. 6

6 Siya Kolisi (captain) I couldn’t come back to stop Steward, I couldn’t find Kriel for a certain try but kept believing. Earned his yellow card late. 6

7 Kwagga Smith Almost scored at a crucial time when South Africa was in the lead, but Malins turned it down. Will be disappointed about this. 6

8 Duane Vermeulen Quiet at times, but hit Curry back and pulled off a key turnover late. So influential when it counts. 7


Malcolm marx (for Mbonambi 44) 8; Steven kitshoff (for Nche 44) 7; Vincent koch (for Nyakane 44) 7; Franco Mostert (for De Jager 64) 6; Jasper wiese (for Smith 64) 6; Herschel Jantjies (for Reinach 67) n / A; Elton jantjies (for Pollard 55) 6; Frans Steyn (for Le Roux 51) Penalty nailed but should not be 7.

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