South Africa seek to revive their Rugby World Cup hopes on Saturday against Samoa who bring an unpredictability to the Pool B match in which they will bid to inflict further humiliation on the Springboks. JP Pietersen scored three tries, with Schalk Burger, Schalk Brits and Bryan Habana claiming one apiece on an afternoon when the two-time world champions reminded the rugby world of their pedigree.
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Samoa flyhalf Michael Stanley slotted over two early penalties, but South Africa took a grip on the game after right wing Pietersen intercepted a lobbed pass by Stanley and raced more than half the pitch to score. Handre Pollard was successful with four penalties and a conversion, and substitute Pat Lambie also added a conversion. But he still believed South Africa could win the World Cup for the third time.
Meyer said: “I asked the senior players to put up their hands and they did”.
Why bother to go round defenders if the ability is there to go over the top of them and South Africa may not create space as easily as the All Blacks, but with ball in hand, they were equally effective – just the methods are different.
“We knew it would be hard and so it proved”, Betham said.
South Africa ruthlessly applied the pressure thereafter, with scrum-half Fourie du Preez outstanding in dictating the tempo.
Italy held off a courageous challenge from Canada for a 23-18 victory in the Pool D clash at Elland Road in Leeds to record their first win of this year’s Rugby World Cup.
As Samoa visibly exhausted, Pietersen completed his hat-trick before Habana raced clear down the left to complete the rout and round off an excellent day for Meyer’s men.
“I’m happy for the players because it must have been very tough over the last week”. Jan Serfontein has been called up in his place. I just said please listen to me, do whatever we do and it will be an easy game.
In 2008 after a fantastic Super 14 season with the Sharks it became apparent that the Zimbabwean star had fantastic potential and that year he was selected into the Springboks squad though at first receiving limited game time. “Japan, I’m sure, will be ready for us”.
“We knew this pool would be tough and we were a bit rusty out there”, Fotuali’i told the Rugby World’s official website.
The Samoans, who opened their campaign with a 25-16 win against the United States, gained in confidence as fullback Tim Nanai-Williams made ground with one fine run.
Jean de Villiers, the South Africa captain, has retired from the game, having been ruled out of the tournament with a broken jaw. “We know very well our captain will rise again, like he always does”.