Dazzling Boks blow World XV away
Sat, 07 Jun 2014 15:57
Six tries to one
South Africa produced a dazzling display of entertaining rugby to blow a World XV away at Newlands on Saturday.
Outscoring the home side by six tries to one and keeping the visitors scoreless in the second half, the Springboks won 47-13.
For 40 minutes it was a match, and the Springboks ended that 40 minutes leading 18-13. They won the match.
The next 40 minutes the game changed. It now became a game of how many points they could score and they won that game 29-0, though increasingly it became a different game as both sides put on all of their bench players. The edge of interest was then blunted.
In the first 40 minutes the World XV monopolised possession and the Springboks only rarely got ball to take them out of their half. To their credit when they did get ball and got into enemy territory they scored points on all but one occasion.
There were good things.
First the weather was good. The pitch was damp - not more than that - but the crisp evening was calm and free of rain. There was a surprisingly large crowd who were enthusiastic. They sang the national anthem with enthusiasm. In the World XV there were seven South Africans. Six of them also sang Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika. Joe Tekori made up for the silent one.
Secondly, the match was a hard contest but played in an honourable spirit.
Thirdly, Cornal Hendricks and the veteran locks proved their worth and the line-outs worked.
Fourthly, there were some exhilarating tries.
Lastly, the tackling was less than is expected of Springboks.
But there were unhappy aspects.
Firstly the scrums did not work.
Secondly, the backline did not work. Whether it was for the changed nature in the game but it seemed that the backs were better when the halfbacks were changed.
But the scrums were not acceptable. In 18 scrums, the Springboks were penalised four times. and early on in the game the World XV were certainly on top. This is a serious concern. A beaten scrum debilitates your side and energises the other side, it limits the way your loose forwards and scrumhalf can play, which reduces your team's effectiveness, and penalties are expensive in terms of points, acres and opportunities.
The penalty count was high - 28 penalties in all divided 14-14, plus three sanctionary free kicks, two at scrums and one at a line-out.
The World XV attacked from the start and twice Bakkies Botha saved the Springboks, once when Frans Steyn air-kicked the ball and once with a tackle on Rene Ranger when the strong New Zealander seemed about to score. But the World XV battered on with Juandré Kruger making ground. When Victor Matfield felled him the ball popped up to Alistair Hargreaves, looking like a mediaeval knight. Hargreaves managed to wheel away from Botha and score. James O'Connor converted. 7-0 after 5 minutes.
From the kick-off Botha got the ball and charged downfield and when the World XV were offside, Morné Steyn goaled. 8-3 after 8 minutes.
In this half the Springboks were intent on kicking, even Willie le Roux. Once Frans Steyn forced his way out of trouble and had players in good positions to attack but, being well inside his own half, he kicked.
The World XV did not aim a penalty at goal and kicked out for line-outs, as they did twice in the early part of the game.
Ruan Pienaar kicked downfield - the box kick thing. Hosea Gear ran to the bouncing ball but missed it entirely and O'Connor had to get across and get the ball, but Hendricks got him. The Springboks won a turnover off O'Connor and went left. Jannie du Plessis played scrumhalf and passed to JP Pietersen who passed through his legs to Duane Vermeulen who ran and gave to Le Roux who have Bryan Habana a run-in for the try. 8-7 after 17 minutes.
First O'Connor and then Morné Steyn kicked penalty goals and the Springboks led 11-10 after 30 minutes.
The Springboks attacked from the half-way line. Le Roux started it and gave to Habana. Habana darted inside and gave to Matfield who gave back to Habana who gave to Bakkies Botha who had a clear run to the line where he scored an enjoyable try. Morné Steyn converted. 18-10 after 33 minutes.
Just before half-time Craig Burden worked cleverly at the front to the line-out. Burden threw to Hargreaves at the front who gave back to Burden who raced downfield till Matfield, falling back, caught him. The Springboks were penalised and O'Connor goaled. It was half-time with the score 18-13 to the Springboks.
The Springboks started the second half on the attack and the game stayed that way till the final whistle.
Four minutes into the half Morné Steyn goaled a penalty and from then on the Springboks did not kick at goal, however easy the kick was. Three kickable penalties became attacking mauls which the World XV collapsed, resulting in a yellow card for Mamuka Gorgodze The Springboks tried again and Bismarck du Plessis fell down for the try as he did later to make the score 33-13.
Later the World XV attacked and Vermeulen had robbed them on the ball at a tackle when Jimmy Cowan did some stamping which earned him a yellow card.
In the last two minutes, the Springboks scored two tries. First they took a quick throw-in from touch and went wide left where Schalk Burger made good ground. They came back right and Johan Goosen, not far from the goal-line, ran round Andrew Hore and scored behind the posts.
Then immediately after the kick-off the Le Roux ran down the left, gave to Vermeulen who gave to Lwazi Mvovo who raced down the touchline beating O'Connor hands down. Hemmed in Mvovo passed infield to Le Roux who scored. Goosen's conversion ended the match.
Man of the Match: Ja, no, definitely it was Bakkies Botha. His enthusiasm for the match was remarkable and he was so effective. He was the heart of the Springboks struggle at the start.
Moment of the Match: Bakkies Botha's joyful try and the lead-up to it.
Villain of the Match: Nobody
For South Africa:
Tries: Habana, Botha, B Du Plessis 2, Goosen, Le Roux
Cons: M Steyn, Goosen 2
Pens: M Steyn 3
For the World XV:
Pens: O'Connor 2
Yellow cards: Mamuka Gorgodze (World XV, 47 - repeated infringements, collapsing a maul), Jimmy Cowan (World XV, 73 - foul play, stomping)
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Johan Goosen, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.
World XV: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Drew Mitchell, 13 Rene Ranger, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Hosea Gear, 10 Matt Giteau (captain), 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Mamuka Gorgodze, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Juandré Kruger, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Andrew Hore, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Pat Cilliers, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Alexandre Lapandry, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Benson Stanley.
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
By Paul Dobson
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