By Lucky Maree
In a commanding display at the World Cup, South Africa left no room for doubt as they bulldozed Romania, firmly establishing themselves as frontrunners for the cup.
➤ With minutes to go:
Rumours have filtered down that Handré Pollard will join the Springbok squad. No surprise there. He comes to Paris as the answer to the Springboks’ kicking problems. Ironically, Manie Libbok is not in today’s team.
The other news is that Eben Etzebeth’s injury is not as serious as previously feared and he will be available for next week’s crucial match against Ireland.
➤ 1st half:
Ireland scored 12 tries against Romania. Can South Africa beat the try count? It looks like it, as it takes the Boks 12 minutes to run in four tries – two for Cobus Reinach, and one each for Makazole Mapimpi and Damian Willemse.
Willemse has missed a conversion and it’s an easy one at that.
Since the try at 12 minutes, play has unravelled somewhat. Maintaining that level of urgency when leading by 26 points with all questions already answered, it’s not easy.
It takes another 12 minutes before Cobus Reinach falls over for his hattrick try.
With ten minutes to go, Romania shines for a while. To great cheers from the appreciative crowd, they get over the advantage line twice and almost score from a lineout. The Springbok tryline, however, remains intact.
➤ 2nd half:
Deon Fourie comes into the hooker position and his first two lineouts, though at the front, are immaculate. He is rewarded with a try after four minutes of the half.
Ten minutes later Grant Williams gets that first test try he’s waited for, for so long.
With 20 minutes to go, Faf de Klerk replaces Damian Willemse at flyhalf which means South Africa has now had all four of their scrumhalves in the match. That must be some kind of record. Faf de Klerk may just be the shortest flyhalf in the history of Springbok rugby.
Grant Williams gets his second try after a clever inside pass from De Klerk.
Marco van Staden takes over as hooker and the lineout throws are accurate.
A clever long pass from De Klerk to Le Roux sets up an 80m run for a try by Mapimpi.
A minute later Mapimpi is in again — to score his hattrick try.
Willie le Roux, who has not had a great game, runs a beautiful line for his first ever try in a World Cup match.
Not only have South Africa scored 12 tries but they have also kept Romania from scoring any points. Job done. Next up, Ireland.
South Africa (12 tries) 76-0 (0 tries) Romania
Pictured above: Cobus Reinach on his way to a hattrick try
Image source: SA Rugby