South Africa romp to victory over United States

Bryan Habana scored a hat trick of tries

South Africa will finish on top of Pool B in the Rugby World Cup after they beat the United States 64-0 at the Olympic Stadium in London.

South Africa’s Springboks outscored the United States by 10 tries to none in the match with Bryan Habana scoring a hat-trick of tries.

The result confirms that South Africa will play the loser of Saturday’s final Pool A match between Wales and Australia.

Habana is getting nearer to the all time Test try record of 69 which is currently held by Japan’s Daisuke Ohata and his three tries today bring him level with Wallaby hero David Campese’s mark on 64.

The Springboks made a slow start to the match and were only 14-0 up at half time but opened up in the second half and ran in eight tries in the most lopsided match of the World Cup so far against a US side showing 12 changes from their previous Pool B clash.

Having lost 34-32 to Japan in the opening weekend Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was taking no chances and made just two, injury-enforced changes, to the team that beat Scotland 34-16 for Wednesday’s match.

Lwazi Mvovo replaced wing JP Pietersen, while prop Frans Malherbe came in for Jannie du Plessis. Both Pietersen and du Plessis have knee injuries.

The United States, yet to win a match at this World Cup, fielded a virtually different team to the one that that lost 25-16 to Samoa ahead of their potentially more ‘winnable’ concluding pool fixture against Japan in Gloucester on Sunday.

Despite those changes the Americans made a bright start, but hopes of another upset had all disappeared at the break, with Folau Niua and South Africa-born Niku Kruger both missing kickable penalties.

South Africa went 7-0 up in the seventh minute through centre Damien de Allende’s converted try.

Poor Springbok handling saw de Allende take the ball off the floor, before going through a huge gap in the defence and under the posts for his first Test try.

There was a nasty moment when Habana, chasing a high ball, and Blaine Scully collided in a clash that saw the US full-back land head first.

Both players left the field soon afterwards for head injury assessments before returning.

Pollard and centre Jesse Kriel, well tackled by Kruger, were both held up short of the US line.

The ensuing five-metre scrum went down and, after Pascal Gauzere warned the Eagles, another slumping set-piece saw the French referee award the Springboks a 27th-minute penalty try.

Pollard added the extras to give his side a 14-0 lead as former Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers, whose international career ended with a jaw injury he suffered in the Samoa match, looked on from the stands.

Scully intercepted a South Africa pass near his own line and broke clear before he was hauled down on half-way by de Allende and Pollard.

South Africa caught the US cold at the start of the second half

Stand-in skipper Fourie du Preez’s well-judged grubber kick was gathered by the dashing Habana, whose try was upheld after the television match official, checking for possible offside, ruled he had not been in front of his scrum-half.

Fly-half Handre Pollard then landed a difficult conversion.

Another strong scrum saw No 8 Duane Vermeulen break before hooker Bismarck du Plessis powered his way over to make it 26-0.

From then on it was a rout, Habana adding two more trademark sprint finish tries in quick succession as the American floodgates opened.

Final Score South Africa 64 (14) United States 0 (0)


South Africa
Tries – de Allende, Penalty, Habana (3), B du Plessis, Louw (2), Kriel, Mvovo
Pen –
Con – Pollard (4), Steyn (2)
Drop –
Cards –

United States
Tries –
Pen –
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (FRA)


South Africa

Willie le Roux; Bryan Habana, Jesse Kriel, Damien de Allende, Lwazi Mvovo; Handre Pollard, Fourie du Preez (capt); Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Francois Louw; Lodewyk de Jager, Eben Etzebeth; Frans Malherbe, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: Schalk Brits, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Willem Alberts, Rudy Paige, Morne Steyn, Jan Serfontein

United States

Blaine Scully; Brett Thompson, Folau Niua, Andrew Suniula, Zach Test; Shalom Suniula, Niku Kruger; Samu Manoa (capt), John Quill, Danny Barrett; Matthew Trouville, Louis Stanfill; Chris Baumann, Phil Thiel, Oli Kilifi

Replacements: Joe Taufetee, Zach Fenoglio, Mate Moeakiola, Titi Lamositele, Cam Dolan, Al McFarland, Mike Petri, Chris Wyles

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