Boks smash World XV

2014-06-08 09:00

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The Springboks made an impressive start to their international season by smashing the World XV 47-13 at Newlands yesterday.

Up against a star-studded team who made a good start to the game, scoring the first try, the Springboks absorbed the pressure, slipped back into their well-practised defensive structures, and gradually wrested the ascendancy to keep the World XV scoreless in the second half.

There were some concerns, especially in the scrums, where former All Black Carl Hayman’s muscular presence caused them some problems, but overall, coach Heyneke Meyer will be well pleased with what in effect was a practice match to prepare for the first official test of the season against Wales in Durban on Saturday.

The team made up of international stars rocked the Boks by getting the first try; thanks to good work by two of the Springboks in their line-up.

Thrusting on the back of 14 phases, Juandré Kruger lunged for the line, came up short but managed to drop the ball backwards and it bounced up for Alistair Hargreaves, who twisted his way over the line.

For the first quarter, it seemed the World XV were determined to make a game of it, however the greater resolve present in a side representing their country started to tell and the Springboks began to get on top.

Their first try came after James O’Connor was caught in possession and slick passing created the space for Bryan Habana to sprint in at the corner and the next soon afterwards was an endorsement for the ageing Blue Bulls blood brothers Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha.

The ever-alert Willie le Roux sent Habana away on the left, the winger cut back in and found his 37-year-old skipper Matfield ranging up in support. Matfield carried the ball for a few telling metres, passed it back to Habana and the winger looped the ball to Bakkies pounding up on the outside to score.

Once in front, the Boks started to play with more confidence and greater accuracy and their next two tries were typical Springbok fare – penalty to the corner, lineout take and Bismarck du Plessis putting his pincers on the ball to be driven for back-to-back tries.

With the World XV keen to give most of their players a run and Meyer sending on his subs, including a return to the colours for Schalk Burger, exchanges became less structured, handling errors crept in and there will be some concern in the Bok camp at the team’s inability to maintain tight control.

The World XV’s efforts were compromised by yellow cards being shown to Mamuka Gorgodze, for persistent off-sides offences, and to former All Black scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan for dangerous rucking.

The World XV were spent and the Springboks hammered home their superiority with a pair of tries from Johan Goosen and Willie le Roux.

Meanwhile, at Eden Park in Auckland, the All Blacks scored a try by David Smith a minute from full-time in a closely fought match against England to win their opening international of the year 20-15.

In Sydney, the Wallabies shrugged off the early loss of skipper Stephen Moore to thrash a lacklustre France 50-23.

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