Cape Town - It may not have been pretty at times, and just how much they
will take from this is debatable, but the Springboks ran out comfortable 46-10
winners against a willing yet not always able World XV at Newlands on Saturday.
As it happened: South Africa 46 World XV 10
The Boks were victorious by seven tries to one with Willie le Roux scoring a
hat-trick while Damian Allende dotted down twice.
A Handre Pollard penalty gave the Boks the lead as early as the 4th minute,
and it was clear that Heyneke Meyer’s men were treating this opposition with
the respect they would give to any.
But just five minutes later the first try of the night was scored. A loose
pass from Pollard was well gathered by Victor Matfield, who released home crowd
favourite De Allende. The Stormers centre was too strong for a stretched World
XV defence, sliding over in the right corner.
De Allende then combined beautifully with midfield partner Jesse Kriel,
whose line break had the crowd’s attention. Eben Etzebeth would benefit from
that run after he was met with little resistance from a few meters out.
Mike Harris got the World XV on the board with a penalty, but Le Roux was on
hand to stretch the Boks’ lead on 23 minutes.
The Springbok fullback barged over from close range, Pollard added the extra
two and the Boks were comfortable 22-3 leaders as a mammoth score started
looking like a possibility.
But then, against the run of play, the World XV grabbed a try of their own
through South African hooker Craig Burden. Warren Whiteley had done well to
spoil a World XV lineout, but Burden was quickest to react to the loose ball as
he stabbed a kick through before gathering over the line.
The conversion was good, and the visitors were given a lifeline at 22-10 – a
score they would hold onto until the break.
A scrappy start to the second half saw the Boks struggle to get hold of any
ball and the World XV were enjoying their best period of the match.
But the hosts capitalised on their first real venture into the World XV half
since the restart. Le Roux scored down the left for his second of the night,
though there were suspicions that he had passed the ball forward to Bryan
Habana in the build-up to the try.
As the substitutes – including Schalk Burger, Patrick Lambie and Vincent
Koch – came on there was more interest in how Meyer would change his
combinations. The obvious change saw Lambie, on for Habana, go straight to
fullback while Le Roux slotted in at left wing.
But the biggest moment came on the hour mark when Jean de Villiers was
welcomed by a standing Newlands crowd of 27 000 as he completed his comeback
from the knee injury that kept him out of rugby for almost eight months.
He replaced Kriel, slotting in at 13 outside of De Allende and had an immediate
Burger had intercepted the ball on the half way line before cutting it back
to De Villiers. It appeared that De Villiers might go all the way, but he
didn’t quite have the legs and instead found Le Roux with a long pass out to
the left for the hat-trick.
Pollard again missed the conversion and the Boks were 32-10 to the good.
The Boks were, briefly, down to 13 men as first Francois Louw and then Le
Roux were sent to the sin bin but the World XV could not convert their
numerical advantage into points.
The Boks then scored one of their more attractive tries. Lambie had put
Pollard through before the Bok flyhalf was composed in finding replacement
scrumhalf Cobus Reinach for a well-worked score down the left.
The Boks’ seventh try came in the final seconds – an individual effort from
De Allende that saw him kick and chase down the left to cap off what was an
impressive night for the Stormers man.
South Africa 46 (22)
Penalties: Handre Pollard
Tries: Damian de Allende (2), Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux (3), Cobus Reinach
Conversions: Pollard (2), Pat Lambie (2)
World XV 10 (10)
Tries: Craig Burden
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jean de Villiers
15 Delon Armitage, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 David Smith, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Bakkies Botha (captain), 4 Ali Williams, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Gurthro Steenkamp
Substitutes: 16 David Roumieu, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Flip Van der Merwe, 20 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Rudi Wulf