London- The Springboks were slow out the Boks only to maul the USA in the second stanza in a runaway victory of 64-0 at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Olympic Park on Wednesday. Reports Piet Lategan.
In a game of two halves the Springboks got off to a poor start with many dropped balls and misdirected passes as only inside centre, Damian de Allende crossed the chalk in the first stanza and the Springboks also got awarded a penalty try as both tries was converted by flyhalf, Handre Pollard. The uninspiring performance by the Boks in the first 40 minutes meant that they held only a 14-0 lead going into the break.
In the second stanza the Boks scored eight more tries as the floodgates opened with the Springboks enjoying scrum and forward dominace which filtered through to the backline that played with complete freedom. Right-wing, Bryan Habana scored a hat-trick of tries to take his tally to 62, level with the great David Campese of Australia. This was also his 15th try in a World Cup, equalling the record set by Jonah Lomu of New Zealand. Openside flanker, Francois Louw also scored a brace of tries with outside centre, Jesse Kriel, left wing, Lwazi Mvovo and hooker, Bismarck du Plessis also crossing the whitewash. Pollard kicked two more conversions and replacement flyhalf, Morné Steyn landed three of his own to complete the annihilation.
The question now arises:”Why only counter-attack and play with freedom against the weaker sides?” “Are the Springboks not used to a more flowing, enterprising game?” The Springboks rely on forward dominance to get the better of the opposition and then kill their opponents off by running them off their feet. Players like Fourie du Preez and Duane Vermeulen who were short of a gallop coming into the World Cup, are slowly but surely hitting their rhythm as well as the penetrative combination of De Allende and Kriel in midfield. The Boks hold another advantage in that they now have a 10-day turnaround before their quarterfinal at Twickenham on 17 October.
The victory meant that the Springboks will top Pool B with 16 points and they will face the runners-up in Pool A that will be decided after the matches between Scotland and Samoa as well as Japan and the USA this coming weekend. The Boks really need to be more clinical in their execution and efficient in their approach if they have any plans of holding aloft the William Webb Ellis trophy come 31 October.
In the other result of today Georgia snuck past Namibia with 17-16 at Sandy Park in Exeter in a exciting battle of the minnows.