South Africa 66 - 7 Canada Rugby World Cup Match Report
A convincing bonus-point victory for South Africa sends an ominous message to potential quarter-final opponents, Scotland, Ireland and Japan as the Springboks demolished Canada in a dazzling first forty minutes to book their place in the knock-out stages.
10 tries against a side reduced to 14 men for much of the game meant this was simply a stroll for South Africa against a Canadian team who had already conceded 48 points to Italy and 63 to New Zealand.
Scrum-half Cobus Reinach wrote himself into the record books with the quickest hattrick in World Cup history. The Northampton man took just 20 minutes for his trio of tries while fly-half Elton Jantjies helped himself to 16 points from successful conversions.
Forced to play more than half the game with a man down, Canada did regroup after the break as South Africa wound the clock down with more than one eye on the next round.
The Springboks made 13 changes from the side which hammered Italy last time out while Canada gave a first start to full-back Andrew Coe, who had been their sole try scorer at the World Cup before this one.
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First half highlights
It took just three minutes for South Africa to open the scoring. Breaking with pace in a move swept forward by RG Snyman, the Springboks were loaded with numbers lurking behind fly-half Elton Jantijies who nearly made the line before the ball eventually popped out to Samian de Allende who went over with ease for the opening converted try.
Two minutes later and another added, this time from lightning-quick winger S’busiso Nkosi. Jantjies missed the extras but the score stood at an ominous-looking 12-0 after just five minutes, it was already clear that Canada were simply on the pitch to admire the brute force of their opponents.
Another display of brilliance on 10 as South African scrum half Cobus Reinach dazzled to chip the ball over the head of opposing winger Jeff Hasler before gathering on the bounce and accelerating past the static red-shirted Canadian defence.
The quickest bonus point of the World Cup was up next with the ferocious Snyman once again breaking through only to be hauled down five metres short before Reinach picked up from the ruck to dive over on 18 minutes. Jantjies with the conversion stretched the score to 26-0.
The scores just kept coming with Reinach collecting the fastest hattrick in World Cup history two minutes later. Warrick Gelant and Damian De Allende sliced through the Canadian defence to set up the speedy South African scrum half who dived over with glee. Jantjies was accurate from the kick in front of the sticks once more.
A sixth try within half an hour and it was all becoming something of a whitewash with Gelant this time the scorer, weaving past would-be tacklers to power over the line on 27 minutes. Extras once more collected. 40-0 already.
Little let-up followed for Canada who must have been truly sick as the first half ticked on. The minnows of world rugby finally did go close on 35 minutes before being reduced to ten men a minute later as Josh Larsen was sent off for an illegal challenge in the ruck. A cricket score looked inevitable and South Africa closed the first half with Frans Steyn intercepting and crossing the line as the clock ticked to 40. Jantjies kicked the conversion to make it 47-0 at the break.
Second half in a nutshell
Canada emerged from the tunnel and got their second half off to a bright start. Two minutes from the restart and a boost for the reds as Matt Heaton forced over from close range.
Clearly fresh from a dressing room rollicking, the Canadians kept their opponents at bay until the 55th minute. Shalk Brits final offering of the match came as sidestepped his way to the Springboks first score of the second period with a converted try before limping off through injury.
The score ticked to 61-7 on 66 minutes when Damian Willemse went over for the ninth try of the game before double figures were reached when substitute Frans Malherbe added a tenth and final one.
After a first half in which it had looked as if Canada would be completely overrun, coach Kingsley Jones will have been buoyed by his side’s new-found resilience in the second period. Job done for South Africa though perhaps some food for thought for Rassie Erasmus who may consider his side could have been more clinical with a man advantage.
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