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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Springboks run riot against strong World XV in Cape Town

The Springboks put in a strong first outing of the year to beat a star-studded World XV 47-13 at Newlands on Saturday. The home side scored six tries and linked well, despite a number of players having just returned from crunch matches in Europe.

South Africa built on their first half stability and piled on the points in the second half, after having only led 18-13 at the break. Their Toulon stars combined nicely, and with a few Top 14 and Heineken Cup champions in the World XV too, it provided for a niggly Test match type atmosphere.

Captain Victor Matfield, returning to the side after post 2011 Rugby World Cup retirement, said that his troops improved nicely as the game progressed.

"In the beginning we did not execute well, but once we managed to get into their half, we played well. It was a very good World XV, which gave us a lot of problems in the beginning," he said.

The match against the World XV, that featured the likes of Rene Ranger, Steffon Armitage, Hosea Gear, James O'Connor, Mamuka Gorgodze and Rory Kockott, did not contribute to Test caps.

There were no immediate injury concerns which was a plus for coach Heyneke Meyer, but squad players Juan De Jongh and Marnitz Boshoff have since been ruled out of possible selection for the Wales Test, with illness and injury respectively.

"This match was important to us, because we have to play together as a team to become better. I believe we are a very dangerous team when we play with quick ball and that was something that I was unhappy about at the break.

"I had some harsh words for the players about the penalties conceded in the first half. In the second half we applied ourselves better at the breakdown and we scored some very good tries. To score six, seven tries against a side with the quality of this World XV is very pleasing," said Meyer.

"Wales will be well prepared. They are a quality side with big backs which will give them go forward ball. They also played together in the Six Nations, while we are just starting out," he added.

World XV captain Matt Giteau, perhaps not so fresh from Top 14 victory celebrations, said "Our attitude was there but perhaps not the legs after a long season."

Posted by Rugbydump at 8:17 am | View Comments (12)

Viewing 12 comments

Carson1091 June 10, 2014 9:36 am

Cracking game, the world XV certainly gave the boks a run for their money (in the first half anyway). Think they were just running out of steam towards the end though. It was nice to see Matfield and Bakkies playing together again, although I've never really liked bakkies that much, always just been too dirty a player for my liking. Does anyone know if they intend on keeping Matfield and Botha around for the world cup?

Also, maybe I'm being picky, but did anyone else think that Gear just seemed uninterested the whole match? Seemed to be nowhere for most of the game, avoided contact where possible and never seemed to go looking for the ball that much. Shame as he was probably one of the best attacking options in the side IMO.

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katman June 10, 2014 10:03 am

I think Matfield and Botha will stick around until Eben Etsebeth and Pieter-Steph du toit are fit again.

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45678 June 10, 2014 11:21 am

id go as far to say that around the time SA were the top team (2007-2009) that Bakkies was the most important player for the springboks. he isn't the obvious choice, but he generated so much go forward ball, just from the way he cleared out rucks. there hasn't been a player as effective at hitting rucks since. bear in mind that the rules have changed to make rucks less competitive since, would emphasize what an important player he was for the Boks pre-law changes.

As for him being dirty, I think its been done to death. one or two incidents of foul play don't make someone a dirty player. rugby before it became professional was a dirty game. bakkies is a saint compared to some of the old school thugs. he basically hurt adam jones hitting a ruck with his shoulder on the lions tour and nutted jimmy cowan, but we've all wanted to do that, so seems fair to me

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Carson1091 June 10, 2014 11:39 am

No I would definitely agree with you there, I think Bakkies and Du Preez would need to be up there for the 07-09 period. He has been immense for the boks for such a long time and was perhaps one of the best "enforcers" in world rugby at some stages of his career. I'm not having a go at him by any means, perhaps I'm being a bit harsh and I understand that his "lapses of concentration" are well documented, but for me personally those little things are just annoying.

Having said that, there is no denying how well Bakkies and Matfield go together and it would be great for the up and coming bok second rows i.e. Etzebeth and Du toit to learn from them.

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Canadian content June 10, 2014 9:24 pm

Uhh, jimmy Cowan may disagree

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DrG June 10, 2014 11:08 pm

I really do view Bakkies as a role model, the guys work rate is immense and for such a big bloke he sure can shift...

Whilst I agree with "one or two incidents of foul play don't make someone a dirty player" it seriously does not apply to Mr Botha...

He is a dirty b*stard, but to be fair he is an old school second row, the position was designed for the big dirty b*stards!

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DrG June 10, 2014 12:11 pm

Sigh, even after his apology Habana is diving at 0:30 again.... ;)

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im June 10, 2014 12:36 pm

does anyone know why this is a World XV rather than a baa baas team?

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katman June 10, 2014 12:45 pm

I think the Barbarians only play in Britain. So while this is almost the same squad as the Baabaas, they can't call themselves that elsewhere. Also not sure if the selections rules (one uncapped player) applies to the World XV.

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flanker2712 June 10, 2014 2:29 pm

Pretty sure the Baabaas played the Lions in Hong Kong. Or does that still count as Britain?

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Eddie-g June 10, 2014 4:56 pm

The Barbarians are themselves a club; if the the SA rugby suits had asked the Baabaas to arrange this fixture, then presumably that could have happened. But it didn't for whatever reason.

Not a whole lot imo to take away from a fixture like this, what will be interesting is what happens with playing JPP at 13. I assume a fit Jaque Fourie is the first choice in that position, but the selection options get interesting if JPP is at least a viable alternative.

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Vladimir June 10, 2014 5:30 pm

How did De Jäger fare ? He's been really impressive the last two seasons of S15.

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