South Africa recorded their third straight victory at the Rugby World Cup after demolishing neighbours Namibia 87-nil in a Group D match.
It was also a special game for Springbok wing Bryan Habana, who scored his 39th try in 72 matches. He is now South Africa’s most prolific try scorer, moving past scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen’s record of 38 tries from 89 Tests. The popular Bok scrumhalf retired from international rugby eight years ago.
Prior to this game, Habana went 11 consecutive matches without scoring.
Early in the game played at the North Harbour Stadium, Morne Steyn secured South Africa’s opening points with a successful penalty.
In total, 12 tries were scored. Gio Aplon (2), Bryan Habana, centres Jaque Fourie and Frans Steyn, flyhalf Morne Steyn, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard (2), flank Danie Rossouw and replacements Juan de Jongh (2) all contributed to the massive win. The Boks were also awarded a penalty try.
Morne Steyn was on target with six conversions, while Ruan Pienaar showed off his skill, also converting on six occasions. Steyn, with now 48 points, has taken over as the leading scorer in this tournament.
Man-of-the-match Willem Alberts said the Boks did make a couple of mistakes early on in the game, but regrouped and played in their structures for a successful result.
Namibian captain Jacques Burger admitted it was always going to be a daunting task facing the Boks and his side ended up making too many mistakes during the game.
“I am very disappointed. We just made too many mistakes and they just cut us apart. This was a big opportunity for us to show something and may be score some points but they are a very good side and made us pay every time,” said Burger.
He said it was always going to be tough coming into the game but commended the Boks on their spirited performance.
Burger remained determined and said it’s not over for Namibia as they prepare to take on Wales. The Namibians are anticipating yet another challenging clash against the Welshmen who gave South Africa a difficult time in their opening match.
Captain John Smit was pleased with his team’s performance. Although it was expected that the Boks would win comfortably, Smit said his men needed the game time.
“We got sucked into some bad habits in the first 40 (minutes) but in the second half, we hit our stride and had a good run out. It’s been a good three games so far and now we have eight days to prepare for Samoa, so we can rest and then start building again,” said Smit.
Coach Peter de Villiers credited Namibia’s defence for putting on a fight. He said there are no longer minnows in this game because all teams are working really hard.
He was also happy with the way in which the Boks came back and is now looking forward to the Samoa clash. – Kemantha Govender, BuaNews