Post-match Report: South Africa vs Italy
"Job done, box ticked, and a quarter-final victory in the bag. The Boks are into the semi-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup after a rather nerve racking first half against the very willing host nation, Japan."
Before I look at The Boks I need to mention the Japanese and the joy and excitement they have brought not only to this particular game but to the whole Rugby World Cup. I have no doubt that for the game to grow internationally, more teams need to be able to compete consistently against the top tier rugby playing nations-its just good for the game. Japan have done that during this tournament and with the excellent hosting thereof, they have inspired a whole new generation of young kids across the country to play the game. Well done for being such wonderful hosts and welcoming all rugby supporters to your friendly country.
The Boks got the job done and even though they had an early scare and potential red card review for The Beast, referee Wane Barnes got this particular call 100% correct in my view. Looking at the incident it all pointed to a red card for the big man, right until the point of contact to the ground for the opposition player. It was a split second between yellow and red and in saying this I am also very grateful that I don’t have to get tackled by Beast anymore. Luckily for The Boks the first point of contact was not the head and Beast only spent 10 minutes in the “sin bin”
The Japanese came out as expected very well organized in attack and playing the game at a 100 kilometres per hour. It of course makes for a very entertaining game to watch but the organization of The Boks defence, not letting in a single try in 80 minutes and the brutality in some of their tackles eventually wore The Japanese down and The Boks got the better of them. Together with a very strong scrummaging performance by the pack along with valuable metres made from lineout drives, the big South African pack had just too much firepower for their counterparts.
At lot has been said about the man of the match, Faf De Klerk and his kicking tactics during this game and tournament. He`s been heavily criticized by the South African rugby public but I think rather unfairly so. I am not saying that I approve of kicking the ball so often but these instructions and kicking of the ball will be direct orders from the coaching staff and part of Bok game plan. The management and coaching staff believe that by kicking the ball and using these tactics you can win the Rugby World Cup and I have no doubt that they will stick to those right till then- whenever that may be.
Damian De Allende had a huge game for The Boks at inside centre and it`s wonderful to see him play so well again. During The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England he was one of our best players along with Lood De Jager and he certainly enjoys playing in Rugby World Cups.
We take on The Welsh in the second semi-final of the weekend on Sunday and The All Blacks who demolished Ireland, will take on an English team who totally outplayed an underperforming Wallabies side. We have another fantastic weekend of rugby to look forward to and I will give my predictions and previews on all these games later this week.