Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Bloody Florian Fritz returns to play


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Barbarians too good for England XV


Catch up with Sam Warburton


Jebb Sinclair red card for leading elbow

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Springboks too strong for Italy as Habana reaches milestone

Springboks too strong for Italy as Habana reaches milestone

The Springboks won their two match series with Italy as they beat them 55-11 in a one sided game in East London, putting the disappointing performance of last weekend behind them as they ran in seven tries.

Flyhalf Morne Steyn crossed twice in the first half as he tallied up 26 points, while Bryan Habana became the joint top try scorer ever for South Africa, taking his total to 38 tries in 60 matches. He now shares the honour with scrumhalf Joost van der Westhuizen, who reached the total in 89 matches.

The Springboks took a while to get going and at times failed to find their rhythm, but when it clicked they came away with the points and showed that their strength in depth will continue to allow the coach to chop and change where necessary.

"We needed to polish up a bit from last week and we were more clinical today," said captain John Smit. "We've still got lots to work on before the Tri-Nations starts but it was a step in the right direction.

"We've got a good group to pick from and we want to make the most of the talent we've got available." They start their defence of the Tri Nations against New Zealand in Auckland on July 10th.

As for Italy, they showed that despite the scoreline, theyre no pushovers as their defensive effort was impressive at times and they managed to create a nice try through flyhalf Craig Gower and wing Michele Sepe.

"The Springboks played very well today and we missed a lot of tackles," said Italy captain Sergio Parisse. "They were more aggressive than they were last week and it's not easy playing against the best team in the world."

Is Italy making decent strides in world rugby, or is the current lack of homegrown talent a real issue that needs to be addressed going forward? Do Springbok fans feel satisfied with where they're at with the Tri Nations only two weeks away, and will they be able to beat the All Blacks away in New Zealand?



Time: 05:05

Posted at 10:08 pm | 32 comments

Viewing 32 comments

Bokke_2007 June 27, 2010 9:08 pm

First! And well done to the Boks, not the toughest opposition but put together a decent enough performance. Worried about the ball making it past Steyn though, that backline needs to get into action more!

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john June 27, 2010 9:41 pm

Spies!!!

actually faster than a winger what a man

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Mailman June 27, 2010 11:06 pm

Spies would be better off on the wing than Juan Devilliers.... Spies is useless as a number 8, but has a shitload of speed.

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Nicko June 27, 2010 11:09 pm

@Bokke_2007 Thats a good point about the ball getting past Steyn.... He really dominates the play (maybe too much) considering the serious pace the Bok have in their outside backs.

Also why's Devilliers on the right wing? Isn't he a midfield boy??

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stuff June 27, 2010 11:58 pm

yes but i think they wanted to give young Juan? de Jong to start at 12, and of course Fourie outside him, so JdV just went to wing to accomodate. I LOVE watching Spies in full stride. Granted he's not the complete no.8, he's an amazing specimen.

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 12:29 am

We still have 6 starting players missing due to injury.

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Bokke_2007 June 28, 2010 12:59 am

I think the whole "ball not going past Steyn" thing is a symptom of Du Preez's absence. Ricky is soo slow getting the ball out so by the time it even gets to Morne he has less time to spread it and spark things in the backline. He either does it himself or kicks. When FdP is playing his quick service gives the fly half so much more time. But hey, little fat ricky is all we have so lets hope he can repeat his dunedin feat year!!

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Alexander June 28, 2010 1:21 am

I do feel that Italy are falling behind again. As are Argentina. More needs to be done to nurture their domestic games, or the else the quad-nations (?) will be a joke, and Italy will fall further still, leafing our glorious game to becoming even less globally competitive!! Am i being too doom and gloom?

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 1:49 am

Springboks too strong for Italy!

Burger gets penalized for a high tackle!

I never saw either of those coming!!!

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 1:58 am

Look at the perfectly waited pass that Burger did to set Bekker through in Spies' try.

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 4:47 am

the SH fly halfs are scoring at will!

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Scotsdale June 28, 2010 5:10 am

Sergio Parisse thought he was Zinzan Brooke in this match! Funny stuff. Italy have loads of potential though. Rugby is actually quite big there so I hope that another generation of young players is on the way up.

The Springboks look in very good shape right now. I tend to wonder if there's been a bit of over experimentation though maybe? Hopefully PDV knows his starting 15 though, and it's the right one. Cant waaait for the Tri Nations!

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Jays June 28, 2010 5:26 am

Agree with above, lots of experimentation going on and it bothers me. Although we have like 5 guys out injured so he had to find who was the next best.

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 9:44 am

@scotsdale
did he try a drop goal or whar?bcos im pretty sure he scored one against ireland before!

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Edbok June 28, 2010 10:11 am

Quite pleased with where the Bokke are, the depth of international quality is as good as it has ever been.

The Italy matches have been helpful in seeing some different combinations in action, but now for the real deal, where we will see if our best 15 can produce against the best. Actually, will be interesting to see who PDV thinks is the best 15, some of the guys who had been on the fringe have really put their hands up for selection.

I don't know about judging Italy from this weekend, I think you could say they weren't that much worse than the French team that got hammered at Newlands. The imported players are probably helping generally, but they surely need to make some headway in the 6N before anyone should expect them to be competitive against Tri-Nations teams. Maybe the bigger point is that SA is a very tough place to tour right now.

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jackohos June 28, 2010 10:13 am

Who's the Fijian 6 playing for Italy?!

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Madflyhalf June 28, 2010 10:57 am

I think Parisse scored a dg with his club (Stade Franaise) in Heineken Cup last season (08-09)...

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Madflyhalf June 28, 2010 10:59 am

sorry not the last season of course.. XD the previous one!

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Xavier June 28, 2010 12:08 pm

@ at jackohos:

I believe his name is Manu Vosawai or something. He played during 2007 WC, too

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 12:46 pm

no disrespect to italy but why did the boks bother having two tests against them? theyre probably the best team in the world right now, and italy are not in anywere near the same league as them...almost a wasted process, and just allowed their individual players to rack up their stats...but fair play to them, they look stronger every time i see them play

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 1:05 pm

'almost a wasted process, and just allowed their individual players to rack up their stats...but fair play to them, they look stronger every time i see them play'

if italy are getting stronger and stronger everytime you see them play then its not really time wasted isit.

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Anonymous June 28, 2010 1:26 pm

^ Nick Mallet the Italian coach agrees, he said he'd rather play Russia and USA to get confidence up and play proper rugby rather than spoiling tactics to try and keep the score low. I don't really mind, they get exposed to top level rugby and that should always help them and show them where they're at.

One things for sure they do have the best coach in the biz in Mallet.

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Sam June 28, 2010 1:41 pm

I agree, this series is definitely more beneficial to the boks than italy, PDV gets to mix and match all of his players, see who's in form, rest the injured and it's definitely giving them a leg up for the tri-nations. the depth that SA has is maddening and I can only hope they choke or fall to some fireworks from NZ or Aus in the Tri nations. I am so tired of them winning.

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Robert June 28, 2010 3:47 pm

Mallet is doing good things with Italy, but they need backline players.

They have no options on attack and it is costing them matches.

The Springboks look good. Looking forward to the 3 Nations.

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Nicko June 29, 2010 12:23 am

Why aren't the bok using Rory Kockett (poor spelling no doubt) instead of January? lol lets hope he doesn't repeat his dunedin performance again..!!

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jps June 29, 2010 1:05 am

coz cockott is a pumpkin ( sorry sharkie fans...no offense )
How did JDV do wing,was he effective ?

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Gaz June 29, 2010 2:21 pm

Parrisse, you have an 8 on your back! not a 9 or 10! dont go for drop goals its not your job! haha i spose i am being a bit SH biased.

Personally i think Italy arent that strong and would love to see countries like italy have a bit more home grown talent. They need to pour a bit of money into italy to get a world class local comp (whether they join the french top 14 or what) so that they can compete on an international level. Also, would love to see some of the 3rd tier nations (canada, japan, romania, nambia, georgia, russia) developed to keep rugby healthy globally.

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Anonymous June 29, 2010 6:41 pm

We 'Italians' don't care about these games, infact all us NH supporters don't care, these mean nothing to us....ofcourse thats only the ones we lose....

Any of you bok fans getting De ja vu regarding the Autumn tests?

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Anonymous June 29, 2010 6:54 pm

Bok number 9 is a little cock at 2:43

Also Im a little unsure on the boks try at 3:46...bok 17 was at the head of the bok ruck....then the ball was picked up by the player behind....the bok 17 was driven forward by the player with the ball....Im not sure how that wasn't obstruction...or accidental offside...

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Joost June 30, 2010 10:34 pm

Italy started with 8 home born players! That must be a record or something! No kiddin'.

I think they should put some money in their Super 10 league, it's embarrasing to see such little home-grown talent... Even the good-for-nothing Andrea Masi gets to start!

Tito Tebaldi is a disaster. Remember the tackles on Parra he misses in the 6 Nations? Same thing here with Olivier.

And actually Paul Derbyshire was born in Italy... in Cecina, Livorno. Now that's a surprise.

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Anrowa July 02, 2010 9:46 am

How slow is January's distribution??
Credit to Steyn for putting on a good display.

Bad points - Vuvuzelas suck, man. why do we have to have them?
Nothing too inspiring on show there except Spies's pace and Steyns ability to play well behind a shit scrumhalf.

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Anonymous July 04, 2010 3:43 pm

Not having FDP is gana cost us the 3N this year, rick is shit!!! Don't really mind as long as FDP is back for RWC 2011!!!

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