Springboks march into quarterfinals

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Colleta Dewa

Johannesburg - South Africa's national rugby team, the Springboks, booked their place in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan following a 66-7 bonus point win over Canada in their final pool match in Kobe, Japan.

The Springboks ran in 10 tries to one, with Cobus Reinarch getting a first-half hat-trick.

The Boks were up against a Canadian team ranked 22nd in world rugby, and it would have been all about attitude for the Green and Gold to get what they needed out of this match.

Canada was reduced to 14 men late in the first half after foul play.

It was one-way traffic as soon as the referee blew the whistle, Sbu Nkosi added his name to the score sheet in the sixth minute and Damian De Allende opened the scoring.

The third try arrived in the 10th minute as Cobus Reinarch showed just why he is one of the best players in the English premiership, executing an audacious chip and chase after finding the gap.  Reinarch then went on a scoring spree, with a quick-fire hat-trick in 11 minutes.

The Boks also bagged the bonus point within the first 20 minutes of the match. They were launching attacks from everywhere in the park at the Kobe Misaki Stadium.

By the half-hour mark, the Springboks had scored six tries, with Warrick Gelant dotting down for his third try in test rugby.

"While the Boks finished their pool stage against another sub-par side, at least they have done so with a bit of flair. This instils the confidence in the minds of spectators that when the backs and forwards do communicate and combine and when players do step up and play to their potential the Springboks can play a lethal and clinical brand of rugby. It is consistency and continuity that appears to be our enemy, let’s hope this will be remedied come the quarters," said former Bok hooker James Dalton.

Four minutes before half time, with Canada desperate to get on the score sheet, disaster struck, as Josh Larsen received a straight red card for a shoulder charge, the Canucks were down to 14 men.

Frans Steyn scored on the stroke of halftime through an intercept. The Boks had seven tries, they were 47 nil up after the first 40 minutes.

Despite everything seemingly going against them, Canada persevered and opened the scoring in the second half. Matt Heaton crashed over to the delight of the many neutral supporters in attendance.

Schalk Brits took on four Canadian defenders to score his second five-pointer of the 2019 World Cup, and get South Africa going in the second half.

Fists started rolling in as Damian Willemse, who was parachuted into Japan after Jesse Kriel was forced to withdraw through injury, scored his first test try.

 

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