Rampant Springboks despatch Fiji
September 17, 2011
South Africa's Heinrich Brussow looks to force an opening in the Fiji defence
© Getty Images
South Africa hammered Fiji 49-3 in Wellington showing signs of being back to their imperious best.
South Africa had been off the pace in edging Wales in their opener, but they looked a different proposition here as their typically direct running and well-organised defence sapped the life out of the South Sea Islanders. Tries from Gurthro Steenkamp, Jaque Fourie, Francois Steyn, Morne Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira and Danie Rossouw sealed a comfortable success, with Morne Steyn contributing 16 points with his boot for a personal haul of 21.
Fiji's only score came courtesy of a first-half penalty from Seremaia Bai.
Francois Steyn's monster 56-metre penalty got South Africa up and running, after namesake Morne's normally reliable boot had produced a rare miss from an earlier three-point chance. Fiji showed signs that they could threaten in the early going, with Bai briefly levelling the scores with a penalty of his own, but while their continuity was impressive, the Springboks had them well marshalled.
And a clinical 25th-minute try from Steenkamp set the tone for the rest of the contest as he ploughed through three tackles to score after Francois Steyn had straightened the attack, with Morne Steyn adding the extras and a penalty to open a 13-3 lead. The advantage was further extended when a spilled high ball from Kini Murimurivalu gave the Boks more field position to work Fourie over for his 31st Test try.
Morne Steyn, having a rare poor night with the boot, missed the conversion and another penalty opportunity, but he did knock over a three-pointer right on half-time.
The pattern continued after the break. Lock Rossouw was the man to lay the platform with flanker Heinrich Brussow's clever chip being seized by Francois Steyn for a third try, Morne Steyn this time slotting the extras. A scrappy lull followed as South Africa briefly entered into a series of unstructured passages of play, but the moment they returned to their direct approach it yielded points.
Rossouw again set the platform with an angled run against the drifting defence, with Schalk Burger offloading for Morne Steyn to claim the bonus-point score, South Africa's 100th in World Cups. Fiji, and an enthusiastic crowd, thought they had pulled a try back when Napolioni Nalaga went over, but the final pass was ruled forward.
And, to emphasis their superiority, the Springboks went straight up the other end for a fifth try. Francois Steyn got within sight of the line, with his pop pass allowing Mtawarira to bundle under the sticks for his first Test try, converted by Morne Steyn.
Fiji, for whom the back row of Dominiko Waqaniburotukula, Akapusi Qera and Masi Matadigo played a fine hand, bravely battled away for a consolation score, with Nalaga dropping the ball over the line. And that was their last chance as the outstanding Rossouw rumbled through some non-existent tackling for a sixth and final try.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September