South Africa ramped up the physicality to crush an Italy side reduced to 14 men for most of the second half 49-3 on Friday, moving above the Italians and New Zealand to the top of Rugby World Cup Pool B in the process.
The Springboks have never failed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup and they all but erased that possibility at this tournament with a display of controlled brutality at Shizuoka Stadium.
The ever-dangerous Cheslin Kolbe scored a try in each half and Bongi Mbonambi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx also crossed to comfortably earn the twice World Cup winners a bonus point.
Italy’s already tricky task became nigh on impossible when they had prop Andrea Lovotti sent off for dropping Duane Vermeulen on his head in the 43rd minute and their slim hopes of progressing now rest on beating the All Blacks for the first time.
In other news – Ireland 35-0 Russia #RWC2019
Ireland got the expected bonus-point victory, but the fluent, accurate performance they would have wished for after their shock defeat to Japan never really materialised.
It was a victory that will hardly have sent a chill down the spines of either New Zealand or South Africa, their likely quarter-final opponents. Russia may have been ultimately outclassed, but in frustrating Ireland for long periods they were never less than massively committed. Read more