Malcolm Marx showered in praise after heroic Bok showing: 'He amplifies what we're about'

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  • Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber was effusive in his praise of hooker Malcolm Marx for his man-of-the-match performance against the All Blacks on Saturday.
  • Marx, in his 50th Test, played out of his skin, enforcing numerous turnovers.
  • Marx had made his Test debut against the All Blacks in 2016 and has had some grief against them in subsequent Tests.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber hardly waxes lyrical on individual player performance, but his eyes lit up when he eloquently articulated Malcolm Marx's game-defining display against the All Blacks in Mbombela.

In South Africa's landmark 26-10 win against New Zealand on Saturday, Marx, who played in his 50th Test having made his debut against the All Blacks back in 2016 when they smashed the Boks 41-13 in Christchurch, made life unbearable for the visitors at the breakdown.

READ | Bok ratings: Milestone man Marx shines

He was immense in every sense of the word, with his near-flawless lineout throwing supported by bellicose ball-carrying that knocked back the All Black defenders at will.

Nienaber, who awarded Marx with a start for the first time since last year, was spellbound by how Marx successfully dealt with his milestone game.

"He was outstanding and that's Malcolm for you. He's probably the one guy who amplifies what the Springboks are about," Nienaber said.

"He had to work hard and he made the change from loose forward to hooker, and he really had to work hard to get to where he is.

"I've worked with him since his Under-20 days and it's phenomenal to see how the guy has developed and what he's become.

"These milestone games are just milestone games and it will prepare him for the road going forward, which is the next 50 Tests."

Malcolm Marx (Gallo)
Malcolm Marx (Gallo)

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi has had a front-row seat to Marx's development, especially after the rickety start to his Test career in 2016 in an Allister Coetzee-coached side that never found its soul.

Kolisi was highly impressed with how Marx turned up for the Test and how his contributions swung the game in the Boks' direction.

"I was telling him how proud I was of him and I honoured him because, like the rest of the guys in our team, he can start in any other Test," Kolisi said.

"Coach Jacques speaks openly and honestly to our pack and Malcolm never complains, on and off the field.

"For him to step up in a game like this was immense. He's going to be a father soon and I was thanking him and his family for being there for him.

"He's a special guy and Faf de Klerk calls him the teddy bear of the team. He's always cracking jokes, but on the field, he switches on."

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