An enthusiastic crowd in the Toyota Stadium witnessed the Springboks rout Namibia in their “African derby” game in the Rugby World Cup.
South Africa 57 Namibia 3
South Africa – Tries: Bongi Mbonambi 2, Francois Louw, Makazole Mapimpi 2, Lukhanyo Am, Warrick Gelant, Siya Kolisi, Schalk Brits Conversions: Elton Jantjies 6
Namibia – Penalty: Cliven Loubser
Springboks rout Namibia
Ryan Jordan considers a few pertinent points coming out of this game.
Neither side fielded their best team
This is an obvious statement when looking at the Springbok team. It is also true of Namibian team. They mixed their team up a bit, spreading their resources over two very difficult games for them as they face New Zealand on Sunday 6 October.
Lack of cohesion made for a scrappy game
Starting with changed teams meant that both teams had to settle down and gel together. This never bodes well for a free flowing game. Yes, the Springboks scored nine tries. The reality is that they went through long periods during which they did not score, butchering scoring opportunities.
Springboks relied heavily on the driving maul
The Springboks often reverted to the driving maul to get points on the board. They will be disappointed that they were not able to unlock the Namibian defense more often in open play. Again, we have to take a look at the scoreboard before being too critical. The reality though is that for the second game in a row, the Springbok backline was less than impressive. With a more competent attacking display, the Springboks would really have made this one of the big blowouts of the Rugby World Cup.
Few threatened the current “First 15”
The game was a decent run for the those outside of the “big game” starting 15. It was only Player of the Match Lood de Jager and hooker Bongi Mbonambi that really delivered performances that would make Head Coach Rassie Erasmus think twice before announcing his starting team to take on Italy on Friday. After losing to the All Blacks last weekend, the Springboks cannot afford to slip up against the Italians and will have to select their best starting team.
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There is as real concern when it comes to the flyhalf position. Handre Pollard was not at his best against New Zealand. Elton Jantjies starting performance against Namibia was easily his worst performance in a very long time and he certainly did not put any pressure on Pollard’s claim to the starting 10 jersey in the big games.
Springboks rout Namibia
The Springboks did put a big score on the board against Namibia in the African Derby, but the respect for each other after the game was very evident.
Respect for neighbours
The brotherhood shown between the two teams after the game was special to witness. Springbok captain for the day, Schalk Brits, was at the forefront of getting both teams together to do a lap of honour around the stadium after the game, bowing to the crowd.
What next for both teams?
The Springboks face Italy on Friday at the Shizouka Stadium. The Namibians face another big test of their resilience against the All Blacks at the Tokyo Stadium next Sunday.
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