SOUTH AFRICA POWERED to a 47-13 victory against the World XV in Cape Town to start their run of June Tests on a positive note.
In what was a competitive fixture at Newlands, the Matt Giteau-captained World XV – who also included Ulster’s Roger Wilson at No. 8 – got off to a strong start when Saracens’ South African lock Alistair Hargreaves touched down following strong work by Racing Métro’s Juandré Kruger.
Irish referee George Clancy referred to the TMO before awarding the try, allowing Australian fullback James O’Connor to give the World XV a 7-0 lead after five minutes.
Morne Steyn reduced the deficit for the Springboks, before Bryan Habana finished off an excellent team try in the left-hand corner, benefiting from a classy between-the-legs pass by JP Pietersen in midfield.
O’Connor responded with a penalty, although Steyn replied with three points of his own before Bakkies Botha was on hand to dot down after some superb attacking play by the ‘Boks [below].
O’Connor pulled the scoreline back to 18-13 on the stroke of halftime with his second penalty, but that was to be the World XV’s final score of the fixture as South Africa’s power took over in the second period.
Steyn kicked a 44th-minute penalty before hooker Bismarck du Plessis crossed the whitewash at the tail of a typically dynamic ‘Boks maul. That trick was repeated in the 58th minute as the Sharks hooker scored again at the back of the maul.
Stade Français out-half Steyn converted the second of those tries, as the World XV understandably struggled to build sustained pressure on South Africa. That said, the likes of Rene Ranger [below] did offer sparks of individual excellence.
Scrum-half Jimmy Cowan was sin-binned in the 74th minute for use of the studs on the arms of Duane Vermeulen as the ‘Boks No. 8 made a turnover at the breakdown , leaving the World XV numbers down for the closing stages.
Replacement Johan Goosen – who will join Jonny Sexton at Racing Métro next season – notched South Africa’s fifth try [below] when he darted through a tired defensive line, before converting the score himself.
A late breakaway from Lwazi Mvovo saw the sub winger burst down the left before floating a clever pass inside to Willie le Roux, who scored under the posts. Goosen’s conversion was the final act of the game.