Boks smash Fiji

2011-09-17 08:31

The Springboks sent out clear warning to their other Rugby World Cup opponents when they demolished Fiji 49-3 with a clinical performance at the Wellington Regional stadium today.

The Boks led 21-3 at half-time. As expected, it was a tough, physical battle with both sides going at it hammer and tongs in the first quarter of the game.

Bok centre Frans Steyn opened the scoring in the 12th minute by banging over a magnificent 55m penalty goal. His Fijian opposite number, Seremaia Bai, levelled the score after 20 minutes.

The Fijians then managed to string together a few phases with strong ball carries from their hard-running forwards and sidestepping from their backs.

But the Springbok defence remained structured and resolute, which thwarted the Fijian onslaught.

The Bok machine then went into overdrive when winger JP Pietersen launched an attack from inside his own half.

The ball swiftly moved through a couple of phases before mobile loose-head prop Gurthrö Steenkamp crashed over in the corner for the first five pointer of the game, to which Morné Steyn coolly slotted the conversion.

Centre Jaque Fourie then crossed in the 33rd minute after great driving play by tight-head prop Jannie du Plessis. Frans Steyn scored the Boks third try after a clever little kick by fetcher Heinrich Brüssow.

When Morné Steyn crossed for the Boks’ fourth try in the 62nd minute, the match was already effectively over as a contest.

The most spectacular try of the evening was scored by replacement prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira. He crashed over the line under the posts after Morné Steyn sliced the Fijian defence open.

His namesake, Frans Steyn, ran a great supporting line. The centre was stopped just short but managed to pop the ball up for Mtawarira to cross the chalk.

Lock-forward Danie Rossouw, who put in a well-deserved man-of-the-match performance put the cherry on top with the Boks’ sixth try after the backs and forwards combined brilliantly.

Bok coach Peter de Villiers rang in the changes in the second half after lock Bakkies Botha had to leave the field with an achilles injury.

He was replaced by Willem Alberts. Alberts, however, also left the field for a while with a blood injury, which allowed Francois Louw to make his World Cup debut.

As expected, Bismarck du Plessis came on for captain John Smit while Francois Hougaard replaced Odwa Ndungane on the left wing.

Ruan Pienaar came on for Fourie du Preez at halfback, while Juan de Jongh replaced Fourie at outside centre.

The Fijians battled gamely and must be commended for never giving up by trying to play an open and attacking brand of rugby.

However, the Boks can feel particularly satisfied with their defence as the Pacific Islanders could not cross their line in the 80 minutes.

The manner of their victory should be a tremendous confidence booster for Peter de Villiers’ charges.

Scorers: South Africa – Tries: Gurthrö Steenkamp, Jaque Fourie, Frans Steyn, Morné Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira, Danie Rossouw. Conversions: Morné Steyn (5), penalty: Frans Steyn, Morné Steyn (3). Fiji – Penalty: Seremaia Bai

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