Counting you down to the Springboks’ big showdown with Wales on Saturday afternoon, here are our Top 5 Bokke tries from the group stage.
5. JP Pietersen vs. Scotland
At the outlook, this may not seem the most amazing try. But there are a few things you have to bear in mind here when JP dots down. First of all the Springboks were reduced to 14men, deep in Scottish territory and opted for a short line-out to help mitigate the numbers disadvantage. The move was genius, played to the Bok strength of keeping it tight in the forwards and used to sheer power of Pietersen to get the ball over the advantage line and down for a try.
4. Schalk Brits’ first international try vs. Samoa
This is another try delivered to you courtesy of the Springboks’ forward coaching brain-trust. It seems like he’s been around for ever, and that’s partly because he almost has been – The ever fresh Schalk Brits was able to round off this forward move from another corner, dotting down for his first ever Bok try (who would have guessed that?). The explosive-pocket-rocket hooker gives Heyneke Meyer and co. upstairs a different dynamic when he comes onto the field – providing instant impact and a much quicker game on the field.
3. Habana draws level with Jonah Lomu after hat-trick vs. USA (apologies for the terrible music)
Current-day rugby legend, Bryan Habana, drew level with one of history’s greatest wingers, Jonah Lomu, in the all-time international try scoring stakes. The SA speedster showed a complete game against USA, collecting a beautifully weighted grubber through for his first, rounding off a backline move with a decisive cut-in for his second, and opportunistically sniping one into the corner off of a ball that fumbled out of a maul. The winger is in fine form at the moment, already holding 5 tries from his 3 group stage games.
2. Jesse “the hot knife through butter” Kriel vs. USA
In a night that USA would likely prefer to forget, the Springboks ran in 10 unanswered tries. This, by Kriel, caps off a sustained period of pressure by the Springbok forwards. In what can only go down as a quintessentially South African try, the forwards dug and dug away at the USA defence, getting quick ball when 10 meters out and running it to the backs. Kriel did the rest and managed to round off a beautiful segment of South African play.
1. Adriaan Strauss – hooker or wing in disguise? vs. Japan
In a shock World Cup upset, Japan managed to upset one of the tournament’s big favourites in the opening Pool B clash. Adriaan Strauss, though, delivered a moment of joy to Bok fans the world over. He showed the hallmarks of a complete player (something that has likely never been said in regard to him before) by first running straight over two defenders, accelerating like a shocked bull and then producing a side-step Bryan Habana would have been proud of to unlock Japan’s defence entirely to score.
It may have been a dull day for the Springboks, but this was – without doubt – the try of the group stages for South Africa. Lets hope the Bokke can produce more moments like this in their quarterfinal clash with Wales, tommorrow at 5pm SA time.
Stay up to day with all moments magical at this years World Cup on The Citizen’s Rugby World Cup Portal