RATINGS: How Boks performed in 2021 – Pollard and Mostert


In an ongoing series, we look back at how key Boks performed in a season of mixed results. Next up: Handre Pollard and Franco Mostert.


Boks’ general Pollard (6)

To put it mildly, this was a mixed year for Pollard as flashes of brilliance were interspersed with moments of frustrating inconsistency. 

The 27-year-old started in 11 Tests this season, and remains the unequivocal first-choice 10 for the Boks, but uncharacteristic defensive errors and erratic goal-kicking will have been areas for concern in 2021.

The Springboks relied heavily on a high-volume kicking game this year, but it’s hoped that there will be a more balanced approach adopted in 2022 to allow Pollard more time and freedom to take the ball to the line and dictate play with ball in hand.

The physical flyhalf often looks at his best when taking the ball flat and challenging defenders with straight, direct running that more often than not gets the team across the mainline.

With age on his side, and 60 Test caps already to his name, Pollard holds all the potential to peak at the next World Cup, and he will be determined to rediscover some of the confidence and rhythm to his play that just appeared to be lacking at key stages this past season.

Workhorse Mostert (7)

Mostert is the living, breathing embodiment of a player who gets through a mountain of work without capturing any of the plaudits.

The 31-year-old won’t be fazed by this, though. He is the Boks’ grafter who boasts an incredible work rate, and remains an integral member of this Bok team that places a premium on players who possess a so-called “warrior spirit”.

The crowning glory for Mostert this year was his comfortable switch to blindside flank at the business end of the British & Irish Lions series, and at the start of the Rugby Championship, with the lock doing a more than capable stand-in job.

Mostert’s importance to the overall Bok cause was reflected by the fact he featured in all but one Test this year (against Argentina), starting in eight of them on the way to earning his 50th international cap.

It did appear that Mostert’s impact somewhat waned towards the end of the year, but it could not detract from another insatiable season of impressive hard graft.



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