Benito Masilevu's huge side-steps


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Prop lays into fullback with big shot


Richard Hibbard & Kalamafoni double hit


Danny Cipriani talks about past troubles


Lee Jones makes huge trysaving tackle


Hala'ufia crunches then slaps Wilson


The Human Hurdle Attempt


Ludovic Mercier crazy reverse pass

Monday, June 21, 2010

South Africa beat Italy in Witbank in first Test

South Africa beat Italy in Witbank in first Test

South Africa looked disjointed and lethargic as they beat tourists Italy 29-13 in Witbank in what was the first of a two-test series between the two sides ahead of the Tri Nations.

The Springboks managed to score four tries but seemed to be affected by the change in personnel as they failed to find their rhythm against an impressive Italian outfit who had the better of the territory and possession early in the match.

"I don't think we played very well and we made too many basic errors. We'll work on that and next week will definitely be better. It's just the top three inches that we have to get right, said stand in Springbok captain, Victor Matfield.

Returning Bath flyhalf Butch James played fairly well in parts but managed to get himself yellow carded for a high and reckless tackle. During that time, Italian captain Sergio Parisse crossed for a great try that was set up by the break of Tito Tebaldi.

"I'm happy about the enthusiasm of my team, especially in the second half," Parisse said. "We're looking forward to the second test next week in East London. For us, it's very difficult to play South Africa, but it's the best way to build ahead of next year's World Cup."

Italy coach Nick Mallet will look slightly different next week after he lost a bet with his players. He challenged them that if they got within 20 points, hed shave his head.

"The next time you see me, itll be with shorter hair," said the former Springbok coach.

"I'm very proud of the guys. If you look at last week the French conceded 42 points to the Springboks so this gives some perspective to our efforts," Mallet said.

He did admit South Africa werent quite on song though. "Rugby is a strange game It's very tough for players to be 100 per cent every week," he said.

Springbok coach Peter De Villiers promised that things will be sorted out by next week.

"We have to sit down, identify and rectify where we went wrong today. The scrum was good but the individual skills of some players was down and that was disappointing.

"We set very high standards for ourselves and that contributes to our unhappiness. Next week we will be a better side," he said.


Time: 04:59

Posted at 1:04 pm | 52 comments

Viewing 52 comments

poccio June 21, 2010 12:47 pm

not half bad by italy

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JRaines June 21, 2010 1:25 pm

Disappointing by Butch James, I have been looking forward to his return to the Springboks. @poccio - not half bad at all. As I stated in the request section, I was expecting a massacre.

Just shows you how much I know!

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Anonymous June 21, 2010 1:43 pm

Better performance from Italy than France it would seem!

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Hackney Griffin June 21, 2010 2:08 pm

Butch James - what a muppet... high hits are becoming too regular for him to be thinking of starting for a full strength XV

2nd try seem a tad dubious? The head of the Springbok maul continues, dragging several Italian defenders with it, despite the ball being on the floor in a ruck... why isn't that obstruction?

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Disco June 21, 2010 2:36 pm

I agree with HG about the 2nd try but I think Louw was the only person who really knew what was going on; I don't think there was any malicious intent in dragging defenders with the head of the maul, I think those guys were heading for the line and didn't realise the tail had collapsed.

As for Butch James, I've always thought he was a bit of a thug and it seems that he just gets a bit too excited on the big occasions to be regarded as a valuable member of the team. He's clearly very brave but surely someone with a bit more pace and a cooler head would be of more use to the Boks at inside center. He reminds me of James Small and will be remembered in rugby circles for similar reasons.

It's harsh on France to compare scores and claim that Italy did better than France; France are much more of a running rugby team and will have struggled much more with the new laws at the ruck to get the quick ball they need to get their backs moving. Italy generally slug it out up front and boot the ball down the park, not unlike the England side of the Carling era.

The brilliance of French back rowers like Dusautoir is almost entirely snuffed out by the new laws at the ruck and although this counts as much against South Africa as it does against France, these changes in regulation have been applicable throughout the S14. It must be pretty tough to adapt to new laws for the first time in an international fixture.

Anybody suggesting that Italy play better rugby than France needs to have another look at the (long and tiring) season France have put in since November.

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JLH June 21, 2010 2:42 pm

Haha at the Italians and their coach's bet :)

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T-1 June 21, 2010 4:07 pm

About SA vs France, everybody talk about the french long season... and i'm agree with them.If we take the 2 international league finalist (Toulouse ans Bulls) we have:

Toulouse: Top14 (26) + Hcup (9) + Hcup demi final and final (2) = 37 matches
Bulls: Curriecup (14) + Super14 (13) + Super14 demi final and final (2) = 30 = 29 matches

And if we count the Nations it's 5 matches for the 6N and 6 matches for the 3N...

BUT... i'm sure than SA would win against France in all cases, cause they're in the top...

cheers ;)

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Kearney for tests June 21, 2010 5:02 pm

Does anyone know why consistent illegal mauling by the South Africans wasn't penalised? They got two tries and a conversion out of it. I mean on one occasion they broke off from any defenders and when an Italian went to tackle the ball-carrier (obstruction), the referee actually said it was a new maul. But how could it be a new maul? It's just obstruction. While New Zealand are a great team, their refereeing standards are just so poor.

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ostrich June 21, 2010 6:46 pm

Italy always seems like a great first 20 minute team. They did the same thing during the end of the year tour last year...for the first 20 minutes, I really thought there was a chance they'd maybe even beat the Bokke. But then, I dunno, they start to fold (it is SA we're talking about, and not many teams have stood up well to them this year, so it's not like Italy should feel bad about losing).

I agree with the anonymous, though, who pointed out that the Italians did better than the French!

So, there's still one more shot for someone to beat the South Africans, right? Don't they play in London next week? I forget who they play against, but I'm hoping someone can upset the boks...that would be an exciting match.

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Anonymous June 21, 2010 6:53 pm

I do think that the maul that led to their second try was a bit odd-looking...and it did seem like somewhere in there should've been a call for obstruction, but I'm not a forward so I should probably just keep my mouth shut.

The only one who was MAYBE obstructed from tackling was the Italian hooker, but by that time, it was too late.

I just think that if they were going to undo the ELV about taking down the maul, then they need to have referees enforce them better and make sure there's no truck-and-trailering going on.

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Bokke_2007 June 21, 2010 8:20 pm

Well all in all a pretty messy performance really! Maybe the Boks caught that inconsistency disease from the French last week. Putting Butch at centre is a complete waste of time unless you're looking at replacing Fourie, de Jongh, or de Villiers (in which case PdV needs his head checking, again). Still, you can only play the team in front of you and I imagine a lack of motivation coupled with the desire to not risk injury before the big games ahead may have come into it. Also nice to see Gurthro dish out some revenge on Castrogiovanni after the debacle at Leicester last year. The Bok scrum is looking prettr formidable at the moment. :-)

But credit to Italy, they showed that they can put together a decent performance and stifle the attack of a top side, so well done to them.

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Anonymous June 21, 2010 9:15 pm

Well, as far as Im aware THE top side is New Zealand, and that is the only TOP SIDE....

There isn't an "a top side"

So sorry Bokke_2007, the RWC was ages ago....get over it, boks are slipping...

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FrankyH June 21, 2010 9:31 pm

The fighting talk usually comes from Anonymous people. Surprise surprise.
I wouldn't say the Boks are slipping at all. They just beat Wales easily and then thrashed France. They then played Italy, and underperformed. There's a squad system going on it seems. The team has been different for all 3 matches, but they won all 3. I actually think the Boks are stronger now than in 2007.

NZ also look good though, as do Australia, and on their day, England and France. The World Cup is going to be awesome next year!

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FrankyH June 21, 2010 9:34 pm

Just so I don't get accused of being an arrogant saffa, as seems to be the common accusation here lately.. - I admit that South Africa played really badly. Dropped many balls and lacked the urgency that they should have had. They were kak, as we would say. Italy on the other hand played well for the most part, so credit to them.

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Anonymous June 21, 2010 10:36 pm

17th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous June 21, 2010 11:06 pm

anyone know the song that plays at 4:50. is sound cool

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Kiwi Boiii June 21, 2010 11:13 pm

This doesn't mean much, the AB's had a similarly average score-line against Italy with a 2nd string team last year and I think the year before the Wallabies were almost beaten! We all know a full Bok team would blow them away by at least 30...

But Italy have a lot of heart on the rugby Field these days....

Italian no. 8 is a star, probably the best in the business

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Jaj June 21, 2010 11:16 pm

Agree with Franky, the teams are being continuously rotated at the moment. Keep in mind we're missing the Beast, Bismark, Brussow, Juan Smith, JP Pietersen, John Smit, Fourie du Preez, Francois Steyn... kind of puts things into perspective.

Butch James was wonderful in 2007, but he's gotten a bit too old and should continue playing his rugby at Bath...

Oh and Kearny for Tests - breaking away from the rolling maul is perfectly legal. SA's mauling is a wonderful sight to see. They're so bloody good at it.

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Anonymous June 21, 2010 11:48 pm

Parisse, the best no. 8 in the world. France did worse.

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keogh June 22, 2010 12:52 am

Kearney for tests...I think that was a little uncalled for.

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elefant June 22, 2010 12:58 am

Unfortunately, I agree with FrankyH. The Boks really do look stronger than since 2007...that's the scary thing. They keep pushing more and more new guys into the international scene and now they've got a huge string of players for each position with international test experience for either a) their top picks are out injured or b) pick a team suitable against the team they're playing.

I see that, and I see NZ has the same thing going, and it's no wonder that they're the top two teams in the world.

But every dog has its day, and sooner or later, teams like Italy and Scotland will win one over on these guys. It may just be a freak match, but it'll be a great match to watch.

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Simon June 22, 2010 1:40 am

Franky, ofcourse the accusation of arrogance that is floating around is valid!!! That being said, your comments are very un-arrogant and you appear to have some knowledge, rather than being a born again RWC winner supporter!!!

As for Bokke....you checked the IRB rankings recently....the AB's ARE top of the pile...

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Josh June 22, 2010 1:51 am

The scary thing is, this was pretty much a starting XV, bar a few. It had the players like Spies, Steyn, Matfield and co, yet they still couldn't perform.

If the Boks bring this to the tri-nations they can kiss that 3-0 winning streak with the All Blacks goodbye.

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Tui June 22, 2010 2:25 am

@Bokke_2007 Do you really expect to retain the tri-nations? You have never won it back to back, and you have only won it 3 times.... Your record (like your team and coach) isn't exactly frightening to us... We all have a bit of a laugh at you girls each year, us having a superior winning record is just the icing on the cake sweetheart.

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Jason Pan June 22, 2010 3:16 am

that italian scrum half pulled a ben youngs!

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orange June 22, 2010 3:27 am

Tui,

You're talking as if it's you and Bokke_2007 on these teams. It's not; get over yourself.

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Anonymous June 22, 2010 4:00 am

Rugga.
Guys being a Saffa myself, I dont know why you complain with eachother. We all have our opinions and watch in anticipation what the outcome of the games are going to be win or loose, its what makes the game exciting.Yes Springboks have won but they are far from being in good form, only time will tell.Butch james needs to give it up and let some young talent through. Good luck.

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Tui June 22, 2010 6:22 am

Just having a bit of fun "Orange"... Don't get yourself into a state you little snitch.

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FrankyH June 22, 2010 6:32 am

@ Simon, yay, I have your approval. And unlike England, there is no such thing as a born-again-RWC-winner in South Africa. The sport is a religion amongst certain sectors, win or lose.

@ Josh, it certainly was not near on a starting XV. There were serious combinations missing. ie: 9 & 10, 12 & 13, 6, 7, & 8. That's not to mention the front row. This was yet again a mix-match side to see how they perform like that. The coach has his answer now! :P

Butch James should have started at #10 if anything, to give him a real chance to prove himself. Besides his stupid tackle, it's a credit to him that he could slot into the midfield and a try was only leaked when he went off.

Bad performance all round though. Definitely a match to forget about for SA fans.

Gower for Italy looks to be getting more confidence now and I can see bits of his League play coming into the game. He played well and looked threatening.

Castrogiavanni on the other hand..

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orange June 22, 2010 6:53 am

I think Castrogiovanni was just injured or something - he was on the sidelines nursing a side/back injury not long into the match.

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katman June 22, 2010 9:40 am

"Anonymous said...

Well, as far as Im aware THE top side is New Zealand, and that is the only TOP SIDE....

There isn't an "a top side"

So sorry Bokke_2007, the RWC was ages ago....get over it, boks are slipping..."

June 21, 2010 11:15 PM

Do you live on an island with no telly? Do you know that the Boks are the reigning Tri-Nations champions, reigning World champions and that the Bulls are the reigning Super14 champions? So where does this fit into your "RWC was ages ago....get over it, boks are slipping" theory?

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm not allowed to say that. Apparently it's arrogant.

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Madflyhalf June 22, 2010 9:41 am

I'm happy with Italy's performance, though I think SA played dreadfully!

Have you seen Pierre Spies on the pitch?! He's been ruled by Parisse!

And though I'm italian, I'm a big fan of Butch James, I think PdV should test him back at 10, probably James he's not the future, but he still has a vision of play that Morn Steyn doesn't have!
Anyway I think James is getting a bit old and he's slowing down his pace...

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RD June 22, 2010 12:44 pm

Please remember that when commenting you should pay attention to the commenting guidelines. Also bear in mind that Anonymous comments will get removed if they're even slightly negative.

Lets keep things positive here please folks.

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whats in a name? June 22, 2010 1:42 pm

ok RD.....Katman, SA are not the top team, IRB rankings say different, so if they can win tri nations and win the WC and still not be at the top of the rankings then i find it very laughable!!!

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Anonymous June 22, 2010 1:54 pm

I think the italian full back is better of with butch nearly missing the high hit...if he had gone in low and legal, the full back would've left the field in a stretcher..

good on the boks for clinching the win

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dezzy June 22, 2010 4:54 pm

Parisse, the best no. 8

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Anonymous June 22, 2010 6:15 pm

despite being injured for 6 months, parisse still best no.8 in the world..

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Bokke_2007 June 22, 2010 10:36 pm

well the Kiwis are all welcome to sit and fawn over the IRB rankings while the rest of us admire the silverware. everyone knows the Boks would still be top were it not for taking a bunch of worn out players north after beasting the Lions, the ABs, and the criminals all winter. In any case, New Zealand's trophy cabinet looking a bit bare at the moment isn't it?!

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Jamie June 23, 2010 12:12 am

Allblacks are number 1 in the world... Don't forget that girls, and the Bokke were very lucky in 2007 (England had them beat if it wasn't for poor reffing), even Fiji had them beat, lol.

And on their tri-nations accomplishments, they only ever won 3. I'm always amazed at the arrogance that surrounds the Bokke supporters, they really ain't that good. Every dog has its day and for the Bokke that was last year...

Back to reality children.

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Anonymous June 23, 2010 12:15 am

Bokke_2007... Didn't you say you live in New Zealand? Your not even a real South African, your a bitch little freeloader!

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Bokke_2007 June 23, 2010 2:02 am

Hahaha and now we're on to personal insults. Wonderful. Nice to see you had the minerals to leave a name on your post. Lets keep it on the rugby, shall we. If the South African rugby has had its day, how come both super 14 semis were in the republic? check the facts before shooting your mouth off next time.

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Jamie2 June 23, 2010 3:19 am

Bokke....super14 makes no odds....anyone can play super14.....

if the entire All black team joined 1 guinness premiership team and won, do you think the locals would claim that 'Their local boys won it' (with a strong leg to stand on that is!)

Honestly its crazy how SA fans claim to have beasted the lions.....2 tests to 1 wasn't it? and how close were those tests?

Not to mention how tired the AB's were....i mean LOL the boks lost to ireland..and we all know how much you guys love to rip on them!!!

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Jamie June 23, 2010 3:45 am

Bokke_2007, aren't we talking about the Bokke and not club rugby (super 14)? Who gives a shit about super 14 you muppet... NZ teams have a better record in that too!

The Bokke won't retain the tri-nations, if the AB's don't win it... The Wallabies will.

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dezzy June 23, 2010 4:00 am

lol has anyone noticed how many arguments occur in the South African game comment areas?? People really seem to hate South Africans, I guess the un-supported arrogance wears a little thin.... ;-)

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ryan June 23, 2010 4:01 am

Wow, this thread has degenerated into a ridiculous pissing contest (over what, I can't figure out).

Why don't you guys just put a sock in it until the 3N?

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Tui June 23, 2010 4:58 am

I agree with Ryan, all will be sorted out by the boys on the pitch soon enough... Should be a good trinations too.

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FrankyH June 23, 2010 6:42 am

Bokke_2007, it's getting really old. You shouldn't need to TELL people how good your team is. If they really are, others will see it for themselves.. You're setting yourself up for embarrassment later, but of course you'll just troll and change your nick, as you always do.

You make it unpleasant for other fans on here to discuss Springbok games. Just chill out and let the team do the talking on the field. Everyone respects the All Blacks without having to listen to some internet warrior convincing them how good they've always been.

I'd say just drop it, and show some humility.

And FYI - The All Blacks are number 1 in the rankings because of accumulative results and success over other teams for many years. The fact that they can still be number 1 without winning the world cup and tri nations shows exactly what a lead they've had. It amazes me that you don't get that, especially as you live in New Zealand.

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jpm June 23, 2010 1:20 pm

Parisse = real rugby player

vs. Spies = Ivan Drago like non factor

What a hyped up joke Spies is. Sure, he pick a loose ball in a S14 match and run it in from 1/2 way in a 76-45 scoreline game....but in a tight test match he just goes missing (See all 3 lions tests for example) He never turns over any ball....useless hype.

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holmes June 23, 2010 4:25 pm

jpm, dude, I'm no SA "fan" as I'm usually rooting for the team they're playing, but it doesn't take a genius (just a modest neutral) to admit that Spies is a great number 8. Otherwise, the Springboks (the number 2 side in the world with an abundance of talent to choose from) wouldn't pick him time and time again.

While I think that Kankowski probably has more gas than Spies, and I'd like to see him come off the bench and play, there's got to be a reason de Villiers keeps picking Spies.

I agree that Parisse is a class act, for sure. There's no denying that.

And by the way, Drago kills Apollo Creed in Rocky IV - that's not really a "non-factor"...I'm just saying, I'd pick a better analogy.

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Anonymous June 23, 2010 6:47 pm

At least the Boks didn't lose to France at home hey silver fern bitches lol!!!!!

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Simon June 23, 2010 9:48 pm

'At least the Boks didn't lose to France at home hey silver fern bitches lol!!!!!'

No, they lost to the saracens and Ireland away instead...LOL!

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Tui June 23, 2010 11:16 pm

lol Well said Simon!

Anon.. Don't be scared to use a nickname next time little fella!

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