South Africa 9-28 British & Irish Lions, Johannesburg, July 4
South Africa v Lions - How they rated
July 4, 2009
South Africa prop Tendai Mtawarira is tackled by Phil Vickery and Andrew Sheridan of the British & Irish Lions, South Africa v British & Irish Lions, third Test, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, July 4, 2009
Tendai Mtawarira enjoyed a more sedate game against Phil Vickery © Getty Images

The Lions scored a measure of revenge in the final Test against South Africa at Ellis Park, here's our verdict on the players who closed the series out in Johannesburg.

South Africa Player Ratings:

Zane Kirchner: The Bulls fullback made a solid international debut and will have proved that he is good enough to make the step up to this level. Good under the high ball, ran it back well and kicked decently out of hand. 7

Odwa Ndungane: The Sharks wing had a good game. Carried the ball well and was unlucky when he appeared to finish superbly in the right-hand corner. 7

Jaque Fourie: Last week he came on and changed the game with his late try and this week the form South African outside centre in the Super 14 got his start that he craved. Made one break early on after being superbly put through a hole by Olivier and he'll be hopeful he's done enough to regain his spot alongside Jean de Villiers in the Tri-Nations. 6

Wynand Olivier: Another player looking for an eye-catching performance ahead of the Tri-Nations. Creatively he was good, but his game was ultimately blemished in throwing the pass that was intercepted by Ugo Monye who raced 70 metres to score the try that all but sealed the game for the Lions. 6

Jongi Nokwe: The Cheetahs flyer was given his chance to press his claim for a starting spot in the Bok side. He needs the ball in space to show off his skills but the Boks' lack thereof for large portions of the game saw him a passenger for most of his time on the field. He was replaced by Pierre Spies in the second half. 5

Morne Steyn: Last week's hero wasn't able to have the same influence on this game as the Boks were under pressure up front for large portions. Always alert to options outside him, he had a solid if unspectacular game kicking slotting 3/3 but mistiming an awful drop-goal attempt. 6

Fourie Du Preez: Still the Boks' classiest player, he had a good game despite receiving a lot of scrappy ball. One superb pass to Ndungane that nearly put the wing away and always looking for willing runners his game ended at half-time after Simon Shaw fell into his back, leading with the knee, and he was replaced by Ruan Pienaar. 6

Tendai Mtawarira: His rematch with Vickery was probably just shaded by the Cornishman who seemed to have refined his strategy in tackling The Beast. In the loose he covered the blindside in particular very well and carried the ball on the odd occasion. 5

Chiliboy Ralepelle: A poor display from the Bulls hooker. A skew throw and he also struggled at the scrum before being substituted at half-time for Bismarck du Plessis. 4

John Smit (capt): He will be disappointed to have lost so emphatically and appeared to be frustrated at times with referee Stuart Dickinson. Would also not have been pleased that he wasn't able to calm his team down at crucial moments and instill some patience that perhaps could have got them back in touch on the scoreboard as they appeared able to do in previous weeks. Had a tough day in the front-row especially with Ralepelle inside of him and will feel that Andrew Sheridan probably got the better of him. 5

Johann Muller: Unspectacular but solid, showed just how much the Boks miss the physicality of Bakkies Botha. 5

Victor Matfield: Appeared to have a quiet game by his standards but ruled the lineout as he always seems to do. He missed the presence of Botha although well supported by Johann Muller. 6

Heinrich Brussow: Perhaps South Africa's find of the season. He scavenged superbly on the ground producing one memorable turnover in particular under his own posts with the Lions attacking in waves. With Schalk Burger out, long-term, he can do the job for the Springboks but will need to work on his cover defence, one area in which Burger's presence is missed hugely. 7

Juan Smith: As ever one of the Boks' most consistent performers. The workhorse of the pack made numerous tackles and hit plenty of rucks plus took good lineout ball at the tail. Combined well with his Cheetahs team-mate, Brussow and Kankowski in a balanced back-row. 6

Ryan Kankowski: He was looking for a big performance but didn't enough to usurp the incumbent Pierre Spies. Carried strongly and tackled well but didn't provide quite the required link-play with his backs when they had the ball. 5


Ruan Pienaar: Replaced Fourie du Preez at half-time. Provided his backs with quick ball and always looking to snipe around the fringes. The Lions' fringe defence was strong though and he didn't get too much space to work in. 6

Frans Steyn: Good cameo from the Sharks man, showed that he probably is the Boks' best available fullback for the Tri-Nations. Kicked well out of hand and looked dangerous on the counter-attack. 7

Bismarck Du Plessis: Replaced Ralepelle at half-time and the Boks pack immediately looked better particularly in the scrum. 6

Pierre Spies: Came on at wing for Nokwe, a position he first burst onto the scene at. Looked to open the game up but well shackled by the Lions defence. 6

British & Irish Lions wing Ugo Monye celebrates after scoring his try, South Africa v British & Irish Lions, third Test, Ellis Park, Johannesburg, July 4, 2009
Ugo Monye scored an interception try for the Lions © Getty Images
British & Irish Lions:

Rob Kearney: Another stellar performance at fullback from one of the Lions' best players on the tour. An impressive effort in both defence and attack. 8/10.

Ugo Monye: Scored an interception try with a superb 70-metre finish. It was his fifth try of the tour and will go some way to redeeming himself after his errors in the first Test. 7

Tommy Bowe: Moved to the centre from the wing and put in a good performance against an experienced Springbok duo. 7

Riki Flutey: Had a good Lions debut and set up Williams with a great piece of ingenuity and also made a crucial try-saving tackle on Wynand Olivier. 7

Shane Williams: Produced a fantastic display of finishing, scoring two tries and looked a constant threat to the Springboks. He looks back to his old self after struggling at the start of the tour. 8

Stephen Jones:The Welshman kicked 13 points and finished top-points scorer on the tour for the Lions. 7

Mike Phillips: Mixed up his aggression with some excellent distribution and caused problems for the Springboks all game. He even showed his versatility when he moved into the centre for the injured Flutey. 8

Andrew Sheridan: Was solid in the scrum and forced Chiliboy Ralepelle up in the early stages. He also did well when he had the ball in hand. 7

Matthew Rees: Worked hard but had to go off just before half-time. 6

Phil Vickery: Had an infinitely better match compared to the debacle of the first Test. The former England skipper held his own against Tendai 'The Beast' Mtawarira. 7

Simon Shaw: He could not reproduce his herculean effort from last Saturday and was sin-binned at the end of the first-half. But he came back and produced a steady performance in his final Lions' Test. 6

Paul O'Connell: The captain had a solid game and led the Lions to their biggest victory over South Africa since the 1974 tour. 6

Joe Worsley: Could not have made any more tackles if he tried - making ten in all - and eventually had to come off due to an injury in the second-half. 7

Martyn Williams: He was also brilliant with his tackling and was in supreme form with the ball in hand as the Lions attacked the Springboks. The tourists played more openly in this Test, which suited Williams' style perfectly. 8

Jamie Heaslip: Had a game to remember and was impressive across the park. He was excellent with the ball, covered a lot of ground and even won a throw off the South African lineout. 8


Ross Ford: Had a solid game after replacing Rees at the end of the first half. 6

John Hayes: He replaced Vickery after 55 minutes. 6

Harry Ellis: Came on for Flutey but switched with the versatile Phillips. 6

Tom Croft: Claimed he was exhausted after his efforts in the first two Tests but came on in the second half for Worsley and performed adequately. 6

Alun Wyn-Jones: Came on late for Shaw. 6

David Wallace: A late replacement for Martyn Williams. 6


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