South Africa Springboks Rugby News

South Africa ease past star studded World XV




South Africa kicked off their preparations for the Rugby Championship and World
Cup with a 46-10 victory over a World XV at Newlands on Saturday.

Skipper Jean de Villiers returned from a long injury lay-off as South Africa
began a five-match countdown to the Rugby World Cup..

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Inside centre De Villiers came off the bench midway through the second half
to a standing ovation from the Newlands stadium crowd for his first game since
suffering a serious knee injury in Wales eight months ago.

“It was awesome to be back,” said the 34-year-old, who showed no
ill effects of his long absence and made a break to set up the fifth of seven
Springbok tries.

“I felt fine and it was very emotional running on to the field with the
crowd cheering me. It is so nice to be back.”

Another plus for South Africa in a non-cap exhibition match was an impressive
debut by outside centre Jesse Kriel, 21, who switched seamlessly from his usual
full-back position.

Minuses for the twice world champions included four misses from seven kicks
at goal by fly-half Handre Pollard and the sin-binnings of flanker Francois
Louw and three-try full-back Willie le Roux.

South Africa needed just four minutes to take the lead as Pollard slotted a
penalty in cool, overcast conditions.

Centre Damian de Allende scored his first try in the green and gold on nine
minutes, holding off World fly-half Mike Harris and sliding over.

Pollard fluffed the conversion, but added the extra points when lock Eben Etzebeth
claimed his first try for his country after a handling movement triggered by

Harris trimmed the deficit to 15-3 with a penalty midway through the opening
half, but South Africa scored a third try soon after through Le Roux and Pollard
converted again.

At 22-3 it was not looking good for a possession-starved World selection consisting
of former and emerging stars from Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Samoa
and South Africa.

But six minutes from half-time they snatched an opportunist try via South African
hooker Craig Burden, one of 10 players from European club champions Toulon in
the World squad.

Warren Whiteley won a line-out for the Springboks, but hesitancy led to Burden
hoofing the loose ball forward and dotting down.

Harris converted to leave the World trailing 22-10 at half-time — a flattering
score for the selection given how few scoring chances they created.

A much better showing by the select side kept the South Africans on the back
foot early in the second half, but they failed to score with a Harris penalty
attempt short and wide.

Having absorbed 13 minutes of pressure, South Africa broke out to score a fourth
try with Le Roux starting and finishing a move that featured a great off-load
from tackled winger Bryan Habana.

Further Springbok tries by Le Roux, replacement scrum-half Cobus Reinach and
De Allende and two conversions from replacement full-back Patrick Lambie sealed
a comfortable victory.

South Africa play Australia in Brisbane next Saturday in the opening round
of a Rugby Championship trimmed from six rounds to three because of the World
Cup in England.

The Springboks host New Zealand in Johannesburg on July 25 and Argentina in
Durban on August 8 before playing a Test against the South Americans in Buenos
Aires a week later.

Drawn with Japan, Samoa, Scotland and the United States in Pool B at the World
Cup during September and October, South Africa are hot favourites to top the
mini-league and reach the quarter-finals.

Final Score South Africa 46 (22) World XV 10 (10)


South Africa

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