Six Nations: Brad Barritt impresses

2012-02-07 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Two South African-born players who helped England to a narrow Six Nations victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday have earned praise for their contributions.

Durban-born midfield debutant Brad Barritt was lauded in the English press for his defensive stoutness, while lock Mouritz Botha, his Saracens team-mate, who was born in Vryheid, also received credit for the 13-6 win.

Former England hooker Brian Moore wrote in the Daily Telegraph: “You can’t under-estimate what this win will have done for [England’s] inner confidence.

“They were disciplined and did not give away kickable penalties … they are also to be praised for their tenacity in defence because although the first-up tackles were not always solid they scrambled to make amends, with Brad Barritt and Mouritz Botha to the fore.”

Former British and Irish Lions lock Paul Ackford, in the same paper, gave Botha a match rating of eight out of 10: “Mr Industrious, his red scrum cap was all over the place.

“A few too many errors for this level, but hugely courageous.”

And in rating former Sharks favourite Barritt a 7/10, he said: “Defensively sound, which was what he was brought into the side to do. Will settle in over the next few games.”

In The Guardian another former international, Dean Ryan, wrote: “Barritt isn’t the fastest centre in the world, but he is strong and very good defensively and he makes up for that lack of speed with his speed of thought.”

The player of the match award went to a member of the losing side, No. 8 David Denton, who is a 21-year-old born in Marondera, Zimbabwe, and was educated at Kingswood College in Grahamstown.

It was his first start for his adopted country.

Six Nations results:

France 30 Italy 12

Scotland 6 England 13

Ireland 21Wales 23

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