Boks through to quarterfinals

2011-09-30 11:51

The Springboks booked their place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup with a hard fought 13-5 victory over Samoa in a Pool D World Cup clash at the North Harbour stadium in Albany today.

The Springbok coaching staff spoke the whole week about how physical the contest between the two sides was going to be. But on the night, both sides were more than just physical; they were brutal.

The Boks were definitely the more impressive of the two sides in the first half. They dominated the collisions and put the Samoans under tremendous pressure in the scrums and line outs.

The Samoans seemed shell-shocked.

Their flyhalf Tusi Pisi however managed to get their hard running backs like centre Seilala Mapasua and winger Alesana Tuilagi going on the few occasions they managed to get their hands on the ball.

It was only the resolute Bok defence that kept them out.

The Boks started off well and strung together a few promising passes and phases.

But as soon they were in striking distance flyhalf Morne Steyn’s first option was an unsuccessful drop kick at goal.

His first penalty attempt also hit the crossbar.

The Boks persistence however paid off. They drew first blood in the 8th minute after winger Bryan Habana sneaked in at the corner after strong driving play by the forwards and some slick handling by the backs. Steyn slotted the conversion to give the Boks a 7-0 lead.

His namesake Frans coolly slotted one of his trademark 60m penalties to put the Boks into double figures.

The Samoans were then penalised after a particularly devastating scrum by the Boks. This time it was Morne Steyn’s boot that split the uprights to give the Boks a 13-0 lead after 30 minutes.

After the break the Boks were disrupted by a few players going off the field with blood-injuries.

Francois Hougaard, who came on for the injured Habana, had to leave the field. Danie Roussow also left the field for Willem Alberts for a while.

But it as if the Boks went to sleep in the second half. It was during this period that Samoa gained the ascendency and threw the ball around with gay abandon. They were rewarded for their efforts when their powerful number eight George Stowers crashed over in the 51st minute after the backs and forwards combined well.

With 20 minutes remaining Gurthro Steenkamp replaced Beast Mtawarira at loose head prop, while Alberts came on at number eight in the place of Pierre Spies. But they could not make a significant impact.

The Samoans came with tremendous onslaught in the second half. They sped up the game and threw everything into their attack.

The Samoan fullback Paul Williams was red carded in the 29th minute for a punch on Bok flanker Heinrich Brussow and it seemed as the Boks were going to take advantage of the situation. But the contest was again evenly matched soon after replacement hooker John Smit was yellow carded for a deliberate knock down.

The Samoans attacked from all corners of the park but the Boks managed to hang on to book their place in the quarterfinals where they seem likely to face Australia in Wellington next week.

Scorers: South Africa – Tries: Bryan Habana, Conversion: Morne Steyn, Penalties: Morne Steyn (2), Samoa – Try: George Stowers.

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