Rugby World Cup final 2019: Player ratings - South Africa

OPINION: Great footballing manager Sir Alex Ferguson once said, "Attack wins you games, defence wins you titles."

That was the case for the Springboks, in the Rugby World Cup final at Yokohama Stadium, who put on a defensive masterclass in their victory over England.

England struggled to break the green wall of defence and failed to score a try.

As a result, South Africa lifted the Webb Ellis trophy for a third time.

Here's how they rated in their historic Rugby World Cup victory. 

1. Tendai Mtawarira - 8

Dominated the English forwards early on, especially at scrum time, and won three first-half penalties.

2. Bongi Mbonambi - 6

Was part of the early scrum dominance and threw the ball well. Subbed off injured after 23 minutes.

3. Frans Malherbe - 8

Same as Mtarawira - an absolute beast at scrum time, bullying the English.

4. Eben Etzebeth - 6

Made 13 bruising tackles and created attacking chances with his offloads and storming runs.

5. Lood de Jager - 6

Went off with a dislocated shoulder after 23 minutes. Made all five of his tackles before going off.

6. Siya Kolisi - 8

The inspirational captain was on top of his game, making all 12 of his tackles in a perfect 60-minute performance worthy of the Webb Ellis Cup.

The Springboks lift the Webb Ellis Cup.
The Springboks lift the Webb Ellis Cup. Photo credit: Getty

7. Pieter-Steph du Toit - 7

A massive effort from the flanker, going toe-to-toe with Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.

8. Duane Vermeulen - 9

The man-of-the-match in the World Cup final, a beast on both sides of the ball - 11 runs for 49 metres and seven tackles in a huge 80-minute performance.

9. Faf de Klerk - 8

The beating heart of the Springbok side - perfect kicks from the boot to relieve pressure at the ruck.

10. Handre Pollard - 8

Twenty-two points off the boot, and he brought his running game too, 72 metres from his eight runs. The clutchest kicker in world rugby off the tee.

11. Makazole Mapimpi - 8

Scored the first-ever try by a South African in a World Cup final, and boy what a try it was too. He got the better of Daly in the air too, catching multiple cross-field bombs from Pollard's boot.

12. Damian de Allende - 8

The most carries of any South African with 12. He is relentless with the ball in hand, and made some bruising tackles on defence.

13. Lukhanyo Am - 8

His best game of the tournament. Apart from an early knock-on, he was faultless. Set up the first try and was relentless running the ball.

14. Cheslin Kolbe - 7

Had a very quiet first 65 minutes, but when he got his chance he didn't let it go to waste, capping off the final with a sensational try that set the crowd alight. Flawless on defence too.

15. Willie le Roux - 8

Saved his best till last, took the pressure off Pollard by putting up lots of kicks and didn't miss a tackle.


16. Malcolm Marx - 8

Subbed on after 22 minutes because of injury and was a giant for the Springboks. Ten flawless tackles and was a calm head at scrum and lineout time.

17. Steven Kitshoff - 7

Continued the scrum dominance throughout the second 40.

18. Vincent Koch - 6

Part of a huge scrum in the second half made all eight of his tackles.

19. RG Snyman - 5

His presence was felt on defence, making three big tackles.

20. Franco Mostert - 8

Massive performance off the bench - he came on for de Jager after an early injury and was brutal on defence with a game-high16 tackles.

21. Francois Louw - 5

Came on for the captain in the 64th minute, made three tackles then celebrated their title.

22. Herschel Jantjies - No rating

23. Frans Steyn - No rating

Luke Robinson is a Newshub online sports producer.