The Springboks produced an impressive display of controlled rugby as they swept Fiji aside, scoring six tries on their way to a convincing 49-3 victory in Wellington on Saturday.
After a shaky start the Springboks found their feet and stormed into the Fijian 22 with purpose. Their first try was the result of some patient build-up play which gave big Gurthro Steenkamp the opportunity to impose his physicality on the Fiji defence and bulldoze over the line.
The second try came from some slick handling in the backline. The Boks won good ruck ball on the 22 and sent it to the right, Francois Steyn glided a beautiful pass out to Pat Lambie who drew a defender before offloading to a flying Jaque Fourie who went over in the corner.
Penalties from the boots of Francois and Morne Steyn meant that the defending champions went into the half-time break with a commanding 21-3 lead.
The South Africans were not going to sit back and defend their lead and they came up with an amazing try early in the second half. After they had won good front foot ball in the 22 Morne Steyn slung it out to Heinrich Brussow who only had Francois Steyn outside him.
The breakdown ace summed the situation up perfectly and put an audacious little chip kick in for Steyn to chase. The ball sat up perfectly and the big utility back crashed over for his second try of the tournament. The conversion made it 28-3 to the Springboks and Fiji were under some serious pressure.
The Boks secured the four-try bonus point with 20 minutes left to play when Morne Steyn took a wonderful pass from Schalk Burger on the tryline and crashed over after some composed phase play in the Fijian 22.
The South Africans were clearly brimming with confidence at this stage and it showed when Morne Steyn threw a great dummy, cutting through the Fijian defence before turning it on the inside for Francois Steyn who did well to stay on his feet until he was finally brought down just short of the line. However, Tendai Mtawarira was on hand and they were not going to stop him as he powered his way over for his team's fifth try.
The final nail was put in the Fijian coffin when the electric Francois Hougaard skipped past a few tackles and got his team on the front foot in the 22. They sent it wide and JP Pietersen was brought down close to the line but the ball was recycled and Burger, playing at first receiver gave a perfectly timed pass to big Danie Rossouw who thundered over the line.
For South Africa:
Tries: Steenkamp, Fourie, F Steyn, M Steyn, Mtawarira, Rossouw
Cons: M Steyn 5
Pens: F Steyn, M Steyn 2
South Africa: 15 Pat Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Odwa Ndungane, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (captain), 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Willem Alberts, 20 François Hougaard, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.
Fiji: 15 Kini Murimurivalu, 14 Vereniki Goneva, 13 Gaby Lovobalavu, 12 Seremaia Bai, 11 Naipolioni Nalaga, 10 Waisea Sedre Luveniyali, 9 Nemia Kenatale, 8 Sakiusa Matadigo, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Dominiko Maiwiriwiri Waqaniburotu, 5 Wame Lewaravu, 4 Leone Nakarawa, 3 Deacon Manu (captain), 2 Sunia Koto, 1 Campese Ma'afu.
Replacements: 16 Telemaitoga Dautu Tuapati, 17 Waisea Nailago, 18 Netani Edward Talei, 19 Sisa Koyamaibole, 20 Vitori Tomu Buatava, 21 Nicky Little, 22 Gaby Lovobalavu.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
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