Sunday, June 27, 2010
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?