Barnstorming Vermeulen makes his presence felt for Boks


Bloemfontein, June 17 – Duane Vermeulen, Bongi Mbonambi, and Damian de Allende made a considerable impact in Saturday’s 23-12 win over England in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Vermeulen was quite simply immense as the Boks produced a ferocious physical performance to seal the series with one game to play.

The physical No 8 was credited with eight runs for 44 meters made, while he also beat as many as six defenders. Vermeulen made four tackles, and it was also his physical presence throughout the clash that set him apart.

Mnomambi also produced arguably his best performance in Bok colors, with the hooker performing his primary set-piece roles with aplomb, while making 50 run meters.

Although De Allende did come in for some criticism when he was regularly caught in possession during the Test, the ESPN rugby statistics show that he made a whopping 117 meters, 16 runs and beat four defenders. He also completed seven tackles.

Meanwhile, further defensive credit should go to Pieter-Steph du Toit, who completed a team-high 10 tackles in an industrious performance that vindicated his selection on the flank.

There should also be a particular mention of the substitutes who made a significant impact, particularly props Steven Kitshoff and Thomas du Toit. The duo came on early in the second half and almost immediately after, the Boks earned a crucial penalty try at scrum time.

Explosive hooker Akker van der Merwe was another player who made a big impact on defense, while Jesse Kriel helped up the tempo when he came on at an important stage of the second half.

Finally, Zim-born Beast Mtawarira celebrated his milestone of 100 Tests caps with a fine performance that included 30 run meters from four carries.

– African News Agency (ANA)