Springbok win over Canada: 5 talking points

Cobus Reinach
Cobus Reinach

Cape Town - Sport24's Herman Mostert highlights FIVE talking points following South Africa's 66-7 Rugby World Cup win over Canada in Kobe.

1. Reinach's hat-trick record

Springbok scrumhalf Cobus Reinach dazzled when he scored the fastest hat-trick in Rugby World Cup history on Tuesday.

Reinach crossed for his hat-trick in the 20th minute - beating Australia fullback Chris Latham's hat-trick after 25 minutes in a 142-0 thrashing of Namibia in Adelaide during the 2003 World Cup.

Reinach's hat-trick was the earliest (in terms of time elapsed) in a World Cup match but the 10 minutes and 25 seconds between his first and third scores is second to Wallaby Adam Ashley-Cooper's hat-trick in nine minutes and 16 seconds against the USA in 2011.

Reinach's performance also gave Bok coach Rassie Erasmus food for thought in the scrumhalf position - given that Reinach is essentially the third-choice No 9 in the Bok squad behind Faf de Klerk and Herschel Jantjies.

De Klerk has been out of sorts in this tournament but I reckon Eramsus will persist with him in the starting team, with Jantjies providing cover on the bench.

2. Dominant Springboks

The Boks started like a house on fire, already bagging a try-scoring bonus-point as early as the 17th minute!

They were clinical, dominating in all aspects and when Canada lost lock Josh Larsen to a red card in the 35th minute, it appeared as though South Africa could rack up a century.

They went into the half-time break 47-0 ahead but produced a lethargic second-half display, eventually winning it only 19-7 against 14 men.

The Boks will be disappointed they conceded five penalties and five turnovers and the substitutions made in the second half also appeared to stall their charge.

However, it was always going to be tough to keep up with the fast start they made and altogether the 10-try romp was a satisfactory effort to book a spot in the playoffs

3. RG stakes massive starting spot claim

Bok lock RG Snyman was the official man-of-the-match and he was also my standout player.

His barn-storming run in the second minute - which set up the first Bok try - set the tone for the match in which he was omnipresent.

He was imperious at lineout time and made a whopping 17 tackles!

It will be tough for coach Rassie Erasmus not to start Snyman in the knockout phases…

4. Pollard's centre experiment

It was interesting to note when Handre Pollard came on in the 60th minute that he operated at inside centre.

Pollard replaced outside centre Damian de Allende, with Frans Steyn moving into De Allende's position and Pollard playing alongside flyhalf Elton Jantjies.

Following the injury withdrawal of Jesse Kriel, the Boks are "thin" at outside centre, with Lukhanyo Am the only specialist No 13 left in the squad.

Damian Willemse, who was flown in to replace Kriel, is mainly a flyhalf and fullback.

This is why Erasmus tried De Allende and Steyn in the position on Tuesday. Both aren't the quickest centres but given the style the Boks play, it may not be an issue.

I doubt that the Bok coach has plans to start with Jantjies at flyhalf and Pollard at inside centre in the playoffs, but he was wise playing around with his options...

5. Boks are lineout kings

Erasmus has placed great emphasis on the set-pieces and can feel chuffed with his team's efforts there at this World Cup.

The Springboks have the best lineout at the tournament and Tuesday's match was another case in point as they won all eight on their own throw-in.

Remarkably, the Boks have won 47 of 47 lineouts so far at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the only side yet to misplace a lineout throw at the event.

This bodes well with the playoffs lying in wait...

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