Wednesday, October 17, 2007
In a game that was touted to possibly throw up another upset, the Springboks performed well to brush aside Argentina and reach only their second World Cup Final since 1995, the year they won it.
Scoring four tries in total, the South African side absorbed the tremendous pressure of the Argentinian scrum to take control of the game and lead 24-6 at half time.
The Argentinian backs weren't threatening enough, with star player Juan Martin Hernandez having a below par game. One of his dropped balls actually led to a flowing string of Springbok passing that saw Danie Roussouw, eventual man of the match, dive over for the try.
Bryan Habana scored a brace, with his first being an absolute gem. Getting the ball from some quick passing from the Boks, Habana had his opposite number as well as the cover defence to get passed. He chipped it in an instant and flew past them, colliding with one and being held back by another, his determination got him through the traffic and he collected the ball from the perfect bounce to score one of the better individual efforts of the tournament. He equalled the great Jonah Lomu's World Cup try scoring record of eight, and now stands a chance to better that in Saturday's final.
Habana scored again from a well timed intercept and flew away, similar to Fourie Du Preez who also scored from an intercept.
Argentina scored one try, which was awarded extremely quickly by the ageing TMO 'Spreaders' despite the fact that neither of the two angles he looked at were conclusive.
The underdogs just weren't good enough on the day, despite the huge strides they've made in world rugby. They've gained a huge amount of respect though and on a few occasions looked dangerous, more than proving that they deserve to be there.
The Sprinboks weren't as clinical and error free as they would have hoped, but by putting pressure on the opposition and finishing off the chances they got, they did the job required on the day. They still have a lot more in the tank, and if they come out firing and play to their strengths against England, we may well see them being crowned as champions of the world for the second time.
Final Score: 37-13 to South Africa