I agree; the Springboks are built for knockout rugby!
Because on a night where everything threatened to go horribly wrong, South Africa beat England 16 – 15 to advance to the final of the World Cup tournament in France.
Fortunately, the Goats heeded Rassie Erasmus’ warning when he said that the Roses would be anything but cannon fodder at the Stade de France.
Owen Farrell’s team peppered the South Africans with hanging kicks, they made things very difficult at the breakdown points and after 40 minutes of play they enjoyed a lead of 12 – 6.
Even after the break, it looked like South Africa were trying to force things on the field. Such an approach never works out well – just ask any high school boy who tries too hard to date the captain of the first netball team.
In addition, Farrell definitely had his kicking boots on and he punished the Goats where it hurts the most: on the scoreboard with a set-piece and a drop kick.
But in Ox Nche, South Africa have a scrum machine set up to win penalties.
With Nche and co wielding the scepter in the scrum, Ben O’Keeffe began to blow his whistle in the Bokke’s favour.
In addition, RG Snyman also exhibited his three-pressing skills when South Africa needed it most, while Handré Pollard is a set-piece sharpshooter of great size.
In the 78th minute of the game – after another scrum penalty – the 29-year-old fly-half got behind the kicker and drove the ball cleanly over the crossbar.
For a champion team, one point is indeed enough.
South Africa: Three: RG Snyman. Goal kick: Handré Pollard. Penalty kicks: Manie Libbok and Pollard (2).
England: Penalties: Owen Farrell (4). Skipper: Farrell.