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Dublin: 15°C Thursday 29 October 2020


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We’re back in Shizuoka, the scene of Ireland’s nightmare against Japan, for another game which could have big implications for Joe Schmidt’s team down the line.

Should Ireland qualify out of Pool A for the quarter-finals, their opponents will come from Pool B. The top team in Pool A plays the second place team in Pool B, and vice versa.

As it stands South Africa are on course to finish second in Pool B having lost to New Zealand on the opening weekend, but an Italy upset here could open up some new possibilities.

Conor O’Shea’s Italians actually top the pool, having recorded bonus point wins against Namibia and Canada, but the complexion of the pool will certainly change over the next week.

The Italians have only won of their 14 games against the Springboks, but we’ve seen bigger upsets in this World Cup, and in this stadium in particular. 


We have kicked-off in Shizuoka. A strong start key for Italy here if they’re to give the Springboks a game.


Early blow for Italy as prop Simone Ferrari limps off with what looks like a hamstring problem. Less than two minutes on the clock and Conor O’Shea loses one of his top scrummagers. Marco Riccioni takes Ferrari’s place and jumps straight into the first scrum, but Italy are pushed right back by the Boks. 


TRY! South Africa – Cheslin Kolbe.

Brilliant move ends with Willie le Roux float a skip pass out to Cheslin Kolbe, but it all started with some great move by Faf de Klerk. Really quick ball had the Italians scrambling before the Boks went wide.
Handre Pollard adds the conversion and Rassie Erasmus’ men are off to a flying start.


Penalty – Italy 

Italy get a chance to reply straight away as Tommaso Allan strikes a sweet penalty. Nice to get on the scoreboard so soon after conceeding.


Penalty – South Africa

The Boks push the lead out again through Pollard. Italy concede the penalty for a high tackle on Pieter-Steph du Toit.



Riccioni, who came on for Ferrari after two minutes, has had to get treatment and has had his torso heavily bandaged. Italy don’t have any more recognised tightheads on their bench.

Uncontested scrums anyone?


We have uncontested scrums!

Riccioni is off for a HIA, so for the next 10 minutes we have uncontested scrums. This could actually help the Italians as they were demolished by the early Boks scrum. 

O’Shea team have no tighthead on the pitch now, but still have a full compliment as Nicola Quaglio joins the action.


Great pressure from Italy. 

They move right across the Boks’ line but Jake Polledri can’t keep hold of Sergio Parisse’s pass.

We got to an uncontested scrum, but the move eventually breaks down and South Africa clear their lines.


Try – South Africa, Mbonambi.

The Boks flex their muscles again after a good period of Italian pressure. From a good lineout maul the South Africa hooker is able to power over from close range. Pollard adds the extras.

In other news, we’re going to have uncontested scrums for the remainder of the game, which will at least offer some encouragement to the Azzurri.


Italy are sticking at it but they just can’t match the power of South Africa. From a lineout maul the Boks pushed the Azzurri right down the field. They look full in control at the moment as we enter the last five minutes of the half.


Half-time – South Africa 17 Italy 3

The Boks kick it out of play to close the half. A solid opening 40 minutes for South Africa but Rassie Erasmus will be frustrated they don’t have more to show for it, with a few handling errors breaking down attacking moves in promising positions.

From Italy’s point of view, they’re probably doing well to have only conceded two tries, having dealt with the mental blow of losing their two tightheads in the first 20 minutes. They don’t have the power to match the Boks but have given them a few problems in attack.


We’re ready to go for the second half in Shizuoka.

Remember, we have uncontested scrums which is a huge bonus for the Italians against the powerful South African pack. Italy will hope to keep it tight after the restart to prevent the Boks pulling away.


Knock on by South Africa and Sergio Parisse loves it! 

The Italian captain is winning his 142 cap today.


Red card

Really ugly stuff from Italy. A really good linebreak from Italy leaves them about five yards from the South Africa line, and then, with play stopped, Andrea Lovotti and Nicola Nicola Quaglio spear Duane Vermeulen into the ground.

Referee Barnes decided that Lovotti was the main culprit and gets the red card out.

A moment of absolute madness.


Try disallowed.

Pieter-Steph Du Toit thinks he’s scored South Africa’s third try, but Barnes pulls the play back as Kolisi was deemed to have illegally blocked Allan.




Penalty – South Africa

Tito Tebaldi goes off his feet and Pollard is handed one of the easiest kicks he’s get in this World Cup. No problem from right under the posts. The Boks are looking really comfortable since Italy went down to 14.

South Africa 20 Italy 3


Try – South Africa, Kolbe

Cheslin Kolbe gets his second and that should be game over. The Boks power forward before a crossfield kick from Pollard finds Kolbe in acres of space. With options inside him the wing goes by himself and crosses with ease. Pollard drags his conversion wide.

Italy really falling apart since the red card and that try was far too easy.

South Africa 25 Italy 3


Here’s that Lovotti red card. Absolute madness with Italy in a great position. The more you watch it, the more it looks like Italy were probably lucky to escape with only one sending off. 


Try – South Africa 39 Italy 3 (Mapimpi, 68)

Another one for the Boks. A lovely dink from Le Roux sends Mapimpi over for his 11th international try. Pollard left with the straightforward conversion attempt. This is getting ugly now, and it could it be a long final 10 minutes for the Italians.

South Africa 39 Italy 3


Try – South Africa 39 Italy 3 (Snyman, 76)

After a kick in behind, Kolbe dumps Minozzi out over the sideline, the Italian attempts the offload but the ball is collected by Snyman, who strolls over unchallenged. Pollard converts.

South Africa 44 Italy 3


Try- South Africa 49 Italy 3 (Marx 80)

Easy as you like again for South Africa, as Marx dives over from the back of a strong lineout maul. Pollard drags the conversion wide with the last action of the game.

South Africa 49 Italy 3

Full-time – South Africa 49 Italy 3

That was very easy for the Springboks, who score seven tries and claim the bonus point without ever really excelling.

The only concern for Rassie Erasmus will be the sight of Cheslin Kolbe, who scored two tries here, looking in some discomfort after injuring his ankle in a late tackle.

Conor O’Shea will be disappointed with the nature of that defeat. Having lost his two tightheads in the opening 20 minutes, uncontested scrums took away the threat of the Springbok scrum, but his team simple couldn’t live with South Africa’s physicality.

The game really got away from them after the red card, which was a moment of complete madness, and this was as comfortable an outing as Rassie Erasmus could have hoped for. He’ll hope the knock Cheslin Kolbe suffered to his ankle isn’t serious, as he’s been lighting it up in Japan.

Keep him fit and they could have a big say over the coming weeks.

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