The Springboks booked their place in the quarterfinals of this year’s World Cup with a thumping 66-7 win over Canada in Kobe on Tuesday.
Rassie Erasmus’ so-called B-team combined power with pace as they turned on the taps against opposition who generally looked out of their depth.
The biggest highlight was scrumhalf Cobus Reinach record-breaking effort, scoring the quickest hat-trick in the history of the showpiece tournament.
He crossed the tryline three times in 20 minutes, beating Wallaby fullback Chris Latham’s 25-minute effort against Namibia in 2003.
The majority of the fringe members made their mark on proceedings, though, after leading 47-0 at half-time, South Africa did slack off a bit later on
Who was the star in this match?
There were various men who relished the opportunity to showcase their skills on the biggest stage, with wingers S’bu Nkosi and Warrick Gelant, Reinach and Damian Willemse all impressing. But the dominant personality on the night was RG Snyman. The rangy lock was outstanding, not only showing off his nifty attacking and linking skills, but cleaning vigorously, carrying hard and even stealing lineouts.
Key moments and themes
- In a first half where South Africa were given a free pass to do as they please, Reinach’s special hat-trick deserves mention. His first was a brilliant break, combining searing pace and nifty kicking skills to score. Then he showed an eye for a gap in jinxing over from close range, before he was on hand in a superb team effort to score his third. Combined with a good kicking game, he’s certainly given team management something to think about with Faf de Klerk still struggling to fire.
- Despite scoring seven tries in the first 40, the key to the Springboks’ fast start was them embracing a balanced approach. They employed a tactical kicking game liberally and effectively to pin the Canadians in their own half and weren’t averse to using their solid set-pieces too. It made for great viewing for any purist.
- 2019’s tournament continues to astonish with its apparent lack of discipline. Yet another red card soured this contest, with Canadian flanker Josh Larsen being banished for an errant shoulder charge to Bok prop Thomas du Toit’s neck. Allied to him coming in from the side, there was no choice but to end his night.
- Bordering on incompetent in the first half, the Canadians came back strongly after the turnaround, playing with more purpose and far more skill to score the first try of the half. South Africa didn’t always help their cause by becoming a bit too loose and forcing passes. It suggests that this team’s strength isn’t necessarily an unstructured attack. Nonetheless, they still managed to score three tries in that period.
Springboks – Tries: Cobus Reinach (3), Damian de Allende, S’bu Nkosi, Warrick Gelant, Frans Steyn, Schalk Brits, Damian Willemse, Frans Malherbe. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (8).
Canada – Try: Matt Heaton. Conversion: Peter Nelson.