Rugby World Cup: Rampant South Africa slam six on Fiji

By Daniel Richardson

Morne Steyn of the Springboks dives past Gaby Lovobalavu of Fiji to score his team's fourth try. Photo / Getty Images
Morne Steyn of the Springboks dives past Gaby Lovobalavu of Fiji to score his team's fourth try. Photo / Getty Images

Neutral fans might have been behind Fiji in their game against South Africa in Wellington tonight, but the world champions were far too classy as they cruised to a 49-3 win over the Pacific Island nation.

South Africa put six tries on the board with their rampant forwards doing plenty of damage in a physical game that featured some bone-jarring tackles from both outfits.

Morne Steyn's boot and Fiji's nervousness under the high ball saw the men in white put themselves under needless pressure from early on in the piece.

As South Africa did against Wales last week, they flew out of the blocks from the opening whistle, while Fiji appeared shellshocked for the opening passages of play.

Gurthro Steenkamp was an unlikely provider for South Africa's first five-pointer of the game as the 122kg loosehead prop found himself on the end of the chain and he crashed over in the left-hand corner in the 26th minute.

His try broke a 3-all deadlock after both sides had exchanged early penalty goals.

Centre Jaque Fourie added another try for the Springboks eight minutes later after he was on the end of a backline movement and a nice pass sent him over in the same corner Steenkamp had just visited.

Fourie's try was his 31st in 65 international appearances and he moved in to a share of 23rd on the all-time list for try scorers in test matches.

Steyn added a rare try in the second spell too, while his namesake Frans Steyn, who in the first-half kicked a phenomenal 56-metre penalty goal, also touched down across the white line.

Man of the match Danie Rossouw grabbed the last try of the game, which came after crowd favourite Tendai Mtawarira grabbed his first test-match score in the middle of a frantic second spell.

Fiji played without fear and it was evident they don't play many tests together, as their option taking lacked communication.

They threatened constantly throughout the game but they they couldn't deliver killer punches when they needed too as their ball security let them down.

The underdogs were happy to throw the ball around and looked dangerous in open play with locks and loose forwards running freely with the pill in hand.

They should've got on the board in the 65th minute but they butchered an overlap with a forward pass and Naipolioni Nalaga was denied a five-pointer.

Disappointingly though, Seremaia Bai's first-half penalty was the only points they could muster in an effort that would have left them wondering what may have been if a few more passes had've stuck.

Both coaches cleared their benches in the final 20 minutes as the game, played in front of 33,262 people, lacked structure with players wearing big numbers on their backs were littered throughout the park.

South Africa 49 (Gurthro Steenkamp, Jaque Fourie, Frans Steyn, Morne Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira, Danie Rossouw tries; Morne Steyn 5 con, 2 pen, Frans Steyn 1 pen) Fiji 3 (Seremaia Bai 1 pen) Half-time: 21-3

- APNZ

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