Boks slow to start as old boys shine through

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You could be forgiven for thinking that you were watching a match from 7 years ago upon reading today’s team sheet for South Africa versus World XV, what with Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha starting in the second row once again, along with Schalke Burger on the bench.

The partnership that was a major factor in South Africa’s 2007 World Cup victory looked as fit as ever, with both playing aggressive,attacking rugby just like they used to a few years ago.

The World XV, led by former South African coach Nick Mallett, didn’t stick to the script. They came out playing full strength test rugby, with Alistair Hargreaves scoring in the first 7 minutes following some excellent back work from Matt Giteau and Rene Ranger.

Juandre Kruger got stopped just short of the line but somehow managed to find his fellow countryman following an awkward looking tackle stopping him just short of the line. James O’Connor added the extras and the message was loud and clear; the World XV were here to play some serious rugby.

Morne Steyn kicked for three in the 8th minute, but play remained pretty firmly within the South African side of the pitch.

A nice little chip through from Francois Steyn should really have been gathered by Hosea Gear who instead let the ball bounce to his teammate James O’Connor who was bullied on the ground by the Boks’ pack turning the ball over and spreading the ball wide for Habana to dive over in the 16th minute in what was a small flash of excitement from an otherwise quite Springbok side early on.

Steyn sent the conversion right and wide, as the Springboks went back to defending an impressive looking (if not a little bit loose) World XV for the next 16 minutes. O’Connor confidently struck another penalty over to put the World XV back in front. There was some seriously questionable passing from both sides, and the ball appeared to hit the deck every minute of the first half, a trend which fizzled out towards the end of the half.

Despite being bullied around the park for the first half hour of the game, South Africa found their stride with a wel struck Steyne Penalty and an excellently well worked try from South African and Toulon hardman Bakkies Botha, who went diving over the line following some solid passing play from the Boks, much to the delight of the crowd at Cape Town’s Newlands Stadium.

James O’Connor slotted a massive penalty from the sideline to put the match at 18-13 at Half-Time.

The pace of the second half changed completely for the Boks as they ran the World XV off the pitch, despite having problems with their discipline at the scrum, an area for weakness the Boks will be keen to fix before their upcoming test with Wales.

Steyn put the Boks further ahead with another penalty and South Africa applied the pressure at the line-out and the breakdown. Georgia’s Mamuka Gorgodze was shown a yellow card following a repeated infringement at the lineout, which the Boks immediately capitalised on, Du Plessis forcing his way over with the maul from the subsequent lineout.

Bakkies Botha came of to a large round of applause following a typically hard-fought performance, as he was replaced by Flip Van Der Merwe in the 50th minute.

South Africa nearly scored again under the posts with Number 8 Vermeulen barreling over, only to be held up with an exceptional effort from replacement hooker Andrew Hore. Rene Ranger infringed at the breakdown two minutes later, and the Sprinkboks and Du Plessis capitalised again from the lineout, crashing the Maul over in exactly the same place as ten minutes before.

Schalke Burger replaced Willem Alberts after 62 mnutes, marking his return to international rugby following a three-year break due to injury. The blonde jaws-lookalike played with a fire in his eyes and seemed to relish his return to the green jersey, despite a howler of a forward pass soon after his arrival.

The Springboks’ scrum continued to decline with the introduction of more front-row substitutions, which became more evident with the departure of the Beast Mtawarira. The World XV took advantage by bullying a usually solid scrum around the park, albeit to no avail.

Heineken Cup winning winger Bryan Habana was replaced by the lightning fast Mvovo at 68 minutes, who went on to show his devastating pace ater in setting up a try for Willie LeRoux in the 78th minute. Johann Goosen scored his first international try having replaced Morne Steyn at outhalf in the 68th minute.

Jimmy Cowan spent the last 6 minutes of the game on the bench following a slap on Vermuelen at the breakdown, George Clancy showing a yellow following some handbags between Vermuelen and Joe Tekori.

Clancy had a great game in the Referee’s jersey, demonstrating good control over the game and utilising the TMO efficiently and to great effect.

He kept both teams in check, and the game flowed effortlessly as result.

South Africa will be pleased with the result, but will be keen to get started a bit earlier in their next test against Wales.

Darragh McCauley
Rugby fanatic, Watching all the big games, fitting in the others if have time! Number 7, beer enthusiast.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Muhammad Ali: 15 Career Defining Rounds

Muhammad Ali fought 548 Professional Rounds against 50 different men across a span of 61 fights, 13 countries, four continents and 21 years. 27 of Muhammad’s fights were scheduled for the 15 round Championship distance, so in this blog I will cover the 15 defining rounds of The Greatest’s career. Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis are the only fighters in history to win The Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year on more than three occasions,...

Sports as We Know It May Never Look the Same Again

This lockdown has given us so many of the bad things we never really thought we'd see: widespread job loss, rampant hospitalization and deaths, and the major, sticking-out-like-a-sore-thumb kind of problems in society. But, if there's something that everyone felt, it's the loss of sports. Many people said that sports is only important to sports fans, but it's becoming more evident that the purpose of sports isn't just exclusively athletic. Now, it seems like...

MLB: End Of Season Award Show 2 Cy Youngs, 2 Rookie of the Years and More!

The 2020 MLB regular season has come to an end, and with it comes playoff brackets, predictions, debates and discussions. However, we are going to save playoff predictions for another article. In this article we are going to talk about End of Season awards. Wo deserves the Cy Young awards?, Rookie of the Year? Most Valuable Player??? All of these questions and more will be answered. These are my opinions after watching the games,...

When It Comes To Israel Adesanya – Believe The Hype

If you've ever had the privilege of watching Israel Adesanya fight, you know that he is the perfect example of handcrafted precision. In his most recent fight, so many people felt this would be the fight that would finally DE-thrown the champ.  They felt Paulo Costa had the advantage because of his size, his strength and his overall power. If you've seen Costa, you know he's like a modern day Hercules. Costa's punches are explosive and...

2020 NBA Finals: A Champion Will Be Crowned

The stage is set. After a few short months that involved an eight game restart season and a very unique postseason,  the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat will face each other for the first time in the NBA Finals. There are a lot of storylines that will unfold during the duration of the Finals, but the main storyline will have to be LeBron James facing the team that helped him win two championships....

Memorable Test Match Innings: Kevin Pietersen at the Oval 15 years on

“I saw this innings via a social distancing gap between myself and the television. To truly have the visceral thrill of Pietersen’s 158, you needed to be at The Oval on 12 September 2005.” “Just because I've got a stupid haircut or diamond earrings, it's not going to make me cover drive a ball any differently.” Kevin Pietersen arrived on the international scene in full technicolour. In early 2005, KP entered the lion’s den of his...

Tewatia plays blinder as Rajasthan chase historic total to beat KXIP

Rahul Tewatia hit 5 sixes in an over as Rajasthan Royals chased down the highest score in Indian Premier League history to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday. Tewatia hit Sheldon Cottrell for five sixes in the 18th over and added another six of the next ball he faced as Rajasthan chased down 224. Jofra Archer hit 13 from 3 balls to see the side home. Rajasthan beat their own record – they...

NRL Finals Loom as Regular Season Concludes

The first fixtures of the National Rugby League's finals series are locked in after the final round of the regular season came to an end today. The Competitors While Penrith Panthers had already secured the minor premiership and the top eight were determined two rounds ago, some key positions were still open and the race for those positions made for some entertaining footy. The Newcastle Knights failed to hold sixth place, going down on Friday to a...

Russian GP – Race Preview

Russian Grand Prix can be a boring race so let's hope this race gets off to a great start. The only memory I have of the Russian GP is Valtteri Bottas letting Lewis Hamilton win. Last race at Mugello was an exciting race. With two red flags and one horrible crash. And Ferrari 1000 celebration wasn't the best either, but that might be because of the strict rules now during COVID 19. So I am happy...

Benny Leonard: Always A Champion

If you sat down with a group of boxing fans under the age of say, 50, and began to talk about whether Benny Leonard really is a Top-10 all-time fighter, you'd probably have a cacophony of voices barking at you about how great "Sugar" Ray really was. Tell them you were talking about Benny Leonard though, and you might hear a lot of "Who's that?" from the same group. But Benny Leonard most definitely belongs...

Social Connect


Trending Now

AFL Finals Locked In

This weekend's results conclude the heavily disrupted Australian Football League regular season, turning attention towards the Finals series in October. Across 18 rounds spanning six...
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x