South Africa bounce back and beat Samoa

Fourie Du Preez clears the ball for South Africa against Samoa

South Africa recovered from last week’s loss to Japan by beating Samoa 46-6 with a bonus point at Villa Park in Birmingham on Saturday.

South Africa outscored Samoa by seven tries to none which earned them the bonus point and moves them to top of the standings in Pool B two points above Scotland who are unbeaten but have only played one match.

Three of South Africa’s tries were scored by winger JP Pietersen.

Rarely can a team have gone into a match under as much pressure as the two-time champions, whose sports minister Fikile Mbalula underlined in a pre-match tweet that a “WIN is non-negotiable”.

They responded with a six try hammering of the Pacific islanders that gave them a bonus point and took them top of Pool B.

“Last week’s result still hurts and this is just the beginning to getting us back on track,” said captain Jean de Villiers who along with coach Heyneke Meyer had faced demands that he be sacked after the 34-32 Japan humiliation.

De Villier said South Africa could still win the World Cup, which no team has done having lost their first game.

“We know we disappointed a lot of people last week. But the reality is that we have got just as good a shot as any other team still in the competition.”

Pietersen’s hat-trick, two pushovers from outstanding flanker Schalk Burger and replacement hooker Schalk Brits, and a late Bryan Habana effort, allied with 16 points from the boot of Handre Pollard and Pat Lambie, formed the bedrock for the win at Villa Park, home to English Premier League team Aston Villa and last host to a rugby union match in 1953.

South Africa now play Scotland at Newcastle’s St James Park on October 3, with a four-day turnaround before facing the United States at London’s Olympic Stadium.

– Storming start –
The Springboks could not have got off to a better start, Pieteresen chasing up the kick-off and Joe Tekori was penalised as Samoa scrabbled for the ball. Pollard hit the opening three points.

Pollard was soon caught offside as Samoa roared back up the pitch, Mike Stanley’s penalty going over off the post to draw level.

Stanley kicked his second shortly afterwards when Pollard’s restart went direct into touch and the ‘Bok frontrow wilted under a Samoa push at the resulting scrum.

With Tim Nanai-Williams and Stanley at the forefront of a slick-looking Samoan attack, the fly-half’s telegraphed pass was picked off by Pietersen who hared in for a try.

Pollard spooned his conversion wide but kicked a second penalty moments later as Samoa’s ill-discipline began to show through when the Springboks attacked through the driving maul and Burger up the middle.

The 21-year-old South African fly-half nailed his third penalty in the 24th minute to take his side out to 14-6.

It was all South Africa going into the break, scrum-half Fourie du Preez’s lightning distribution bringing out the best of centre Damian de Allende and full-back Willie Le Roux as Burger played a perfect mix of crunchman and second receiver in midfield.

Jean de Villiers was denied a try after Willie Le Roux was judged to have gone into touch just before his try-giving pass.

But Pollard hit a fourth penalty as Samoa struggled to hold off wave after wave of Springbok attack, Stanley missing an ambitious 60-metre effort on the stroke of half-time.

It was predicted to be a “bashfest”, but clean hands by Le Roux and De Villiers found Pietersen unmarked, the winger touching down for his second try converted by Pollard early in the second-half.

Stanley missed two further long-range penalties, but South Africa made no mistake when Burger drove over for a try with 20 minutes to play.

Tusi Pusi was denied a spectacular try by the television match official after Nanai-Williams was ruled to have given a forward offload in the build-up.

Brits was the beneficiary of an attacking line-out before Pietersen was played in for his third try to seal a convincing victory.

The icing on the cake came when Habana raced in for a sixth try — his 11th in his World Cup career — with Samoa dead on their feet.

Samoa, who opened their campaign with a 25-16 win over the USA, face Japan in Milton Keynes on October 3 and Scotland a week later in Newcastle.

Final Score South Africa 46 (17) Samoa 6 (6)


South Africa
Tries – Pietersen (3), Burger, Brits, Habana
Pen – Pollard (4)
Con – Pollard, Lambie

Tries –
Pen – Stanley (2)
Con –
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: Wayne Barnes (ENG)


South Africa

Willie le Roux; JP Pietersen, Jean de Villiers (capt), Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Handre Pollard, Fourie du Preez; Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw; Victor Matfield, Eben Etzebeth; Jannie du Plessis, Adriaan Strauss, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Schalk Brits, Trevor Nyakane, Frans Malherbe, Lodewyk de Jager, Siya Kolisi, Ruan Pienaar, Pat Lambie, Jesse Kriel


Tim Nanai-Williams; Ken Pisi, Paul Perez, Rey Lee-Lo, Alesana Tuilagi; Mike Stanley, Kahn Fotuali’i; Ofisa Treviranus (capt), Jack Lam, TJ Ioane; Iosefa Tekori, Teofilo Paulo; Census Johnston, Motu Matu’u, Sakaria Taulafo

Replacements: Ole Avei, Viliamu Afatia, Anthony Perenise, Faifili Levave, Vavae Tuilagi, Vavao Afemai, Tusi Pisi, George Pisi

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