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Best Boks v Argentina: Dominant Wiese Dynamite in Durban

With debate raging about the Bok eighthman berth, Jasper Wiese’s dominant display in the 38-21 win over Argentina in Durban spoke volumes.

Springboks players ratings

With debate raging about the Springbok eighthman berth, Jasper Wiese’s dominant display in Saturday’s 38-21 win over Argentina in Durban spoke volumes, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.

The victory was bittersweet for the world champions as they soundly defeated the Pumas for the second successive week but fell short of the 39-point winning margin required to pip the All Blacks to the Rugby Championship title.

Our top three Springbok standouts were:

Jasper Wiese

On a day where two of the new darlings of South African rugby, Elrigh Louw and Evan Roos, sent emphatic messages to Springbok management as they helped power the Bulls and Stormers to United Rugby Championship victories over Edinburgh and Connacht respectively, Wiese made a definitive statement – that he refuses to relinquish the green and gold No 8 jersey to them, Duane Vermeulen or anyone else.

Fittingly, in a Test where time was of the essence if the Springboks were to overhaul New Zealand, Wiese maximised every moment and dominated every collision he was in. Fourty-eight minutes was all he needed to set himself apart and cap off a strong campaign with a Man of the Match display.

From his first touch of the ball, as he brutally bumped off a would-be tackler, he took names and enhanced his own. This is crucial in the court of public opinion as the majority of Springbok supporters don’t see Wiese’s heroics for Leicester Tigers as it falls outside of the URC bubble.

As a result, he’s had to prove himself to local fans more than most who’ve entered the Springbok set-up in the last two seasons. He wasn’t immune to the growing pains so many Test rugby rookies experience as he’d follow up a standout game with an average one, or undo a big play by conceding a soft penalty.

However, the 26-year-old found consistency in the Rugby Championship and his show of dominance in Durban was the error-free icing on the cake as he broke five tackles and stormed to a match-high 63 metres in nine carries. His 15-metre surge from his 5m line early in the second half summed up his rampaging evening, while he also won a breakdown penalty and was rewarded with his first Test try.

Frans Malherbe

Malherbe’s a man of few words, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Wings have hat-tricks and flyhalves goal-kicking masterclasses. Tightheads, the truly elite ones, turn in a demolition job now and then that’s so special that it should be celebrated.

Props don’t get the praise they deserve for their grunt upfront and Malherbe’s been one of the unsung Springbok heroes for years. He treated the Pumas pack like an all-you-can-eat buffet, feasting in one of the finest scrummaging performances of his career to win no less than three penalties.

Damian de Allende

The human 18-wheeler once again carried a big load in terms of getting the Springboks over the advantage line and while it wasn’t pretty, he did it with aplomb.

The monstrous midfielder’s uncanny ability to make an extra two-three metres post-contact was on full display as he pumped his legs with power and determination and forced Argentina to commit extra defenders to bring him down.

Only Wiese made more yards than the 53m De Allende made in seven carries, however, the inside centre’s came at a superior average of 7.5m per carry while he also beat the most defenders (6).

Quintin Van Jaarsveld is a former MDDA-Sanlam SA Local Sports Journalist of the Year and a former three-time Vodacom KwaZulu-Natal Sports Journalist of the Year. Formerly the sports editor and Outstanding Journalist of the Year award winner at The Fever Media Group, deputy editor at eHowzit, editor at and senior staff writer at, he boasts over 15 years’ experience and is currently a freelance sports writer.

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