A Willie le Roux hat-trick gave South Africa a 46-10 win over the World XV at Newlands on Saturday.
There were seven tries in total from South Africa, with Eben Etzebeth, Cobus Reinach and two from Damian de Allende adding to the tally of Le Roux.
It wasn’t a complete performance from the home side but there were positives for Heyneke Meyer, especially the encouraging fitness of some returning players such as Jean de Villiers and Pat Lambie. The tight five also competed well against a very experienced opposition front five from the World XV.
Two things that will concern the Springbok boss would be the lack of discipline – the Boks conceded a plethora of penalties and two players were shown yellow cards for dangerous challenges – and the poor kicking from Handre Pollard, who missed a few regulation kicks.
However, it was Pollard who opened the scoring for the Springboks with a penalty, before De Allende broke through the tackle of Mike Harris and ran in his first try of the afternoon.
Bryan Habana and Jesse Kriel then combined to create the second try before the ball was recycled and Bismarck du Plessis fed Etzebeth to crash over from close range. With the conversion, the score stood at 15-0 to the Boks.
Harris put his side on the board from the kicking tee shortly thereafter but when Le Roux crossed for the Boks’ third try of the afternoon it looked like it could be a long day for the visiting team.
But the World XV were next to score, thanks to South African hooker Craig Burden, who collected a loose ball that Warren Whiteley had failed to claim from a lineout. Burden kicked ahead and crossed to make it 22-10, which is how it stayed until the break.
A set play from the lineout gave Habana enough space to break free early in the second period, and the veteran winger managed to offload to Willie Le Roux who ran in his second of the game.
Francois Louw was then shown a yellow card for a dangerous challenge on Jordan Taufua which threatened to spoil the party for the home side, but two minutes later the crowd rose to welcome Springbok legend De Villiers onto the field, following a lengthy lay-off after suffering an horrific knee injury against Wales last year.
It wasn’t long before De Villiers made an impact on the game. Schalk Burger intercepted the ball and tore up the field before passing to De Villiers, who then sent a long-ranging pass to Le Roux to dive over and notch his third try.
Le Roux was shown a yellow card for a dangerous challenge two minutes later and watched from the side of the field as a Cobus Reinach try and a second from De Allende gave his side a 46-10 win.
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