Springboks get their bonus point win

Henry

The Springboks’ mission to end their last World Cup group match with a bonus point was successful.

The South Africans scored seven tries against Tonga in Marseille to win the match 49 – 18.

Cobus Reinach got the ball rolling when he caught the islanders off guard with a quick tap kick.

However, all eyes were on Handré Pollard who played his first game for the Springboks in 13 months. And the 29-year-old flyhalf did not disappoint.

He converted Reinach’s try and he ended up being on target with all four of his set-piece attempts. He was replaced by Manie Libbok in the 51st minute and the Humansdorp native also sent his first kick – quite one from along the touchline – over the crossbar.

South Africa’s set-piece kickers were ultimately successful with all seven of their attempts.

Siya Kolisi wanted to keep the scoreboard going as often as possible to give their playoff chances a bigger boost. But over-eagerness on the attack meant they repeatedly burned their fingers in Tonga’s half.

Against a fickle team like Tonga, one can probably forget and forgive such blunders, but against France or Ireland, the Goats will definitely have to dish out more accurate play when their opponents’ goal line beckons.

At the same time, Luke Pearce’s whistle-blowing performance also left one scratching one’s head.

The 35-year-old Brit ruled that Augustine Pulu’s head-butting session with Makazole Mapimpi only warranted a penalty, while similar offenders earlier in the tournament were summarily sent off with a yellow card.

In the second half, he almost reached for the cards in his pocket when a Tonga player ran into Eben Etzebeth’s chest.

Oh dear.

But the Goats won and that’s all that matters.

In addition to Pollard’s comeback heroics, Deon Fourie also played a cracking hit, while André Esterhuizen’s fiery level of play means that he does not back down to anyone on the field.

  • Scorers:

Springboks: Tries: Cobus Reinach, Canan Moodie, Deon Fourie, Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Marco van Staden and Kwagga Smith. Goal kicks: Handré Pollard (4) and Manie Libbok (3)

Tonga: Tries: Ben Tameifuna, Fine Inisi and Patrick Pellegrini. Penalty kick: William Havili.

  • Group B standings:
  1. South Africa: 15 points after four games with a points difference of +117
  2. Ireland: 14 points after three games with a point difference of +122
  3. Scotland: 10 points after three games with a point difference of +97
  4. Tonga: no points after three matches with a point difference of -102
  5. Romania: no points after three games with a point difference of -234.