Springboks run World XV ragged
The Springboks got their World Cup preparations off to an ideal start when they ran in seven tries to easily overcome an out-of-sorts World XV 46-10 in Cape Town.
South Africa needed just four minutes to take the lead through he boot of flyhalf Handre Pollard before inside centre Damian de Allende scored his first try in the green and gold five minutes later when he held-off Mike Harris on his way over the try line.
Eben Etzebeth grabbed his first international try after a handling movement triggered by Kriel and side-stepping his way past the World XV defence.
Harris trimmed the deficit to 15-3 with a penalty midway through the opening half, but the Springboks scored a third try soon after through Willie le Roux.
At 22-3 it was not looking good for a possession-starved World selection consisting of former and emerging stars from Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Samoa and South Africa but they snatched an opportunist try via South African hooker Craig Burden, one of 10 players from European club champions Toulon in the World XV squad, six minutes from half-time.
Warren Whiteley won a line-out for the Springboks but hesitancy led to Burden kicking the loose ball forward and dotting down.
Harris converted to leave the World trailing 10-22, a flattering score for the selection given how few scoring chances they created.
A much better showing by the select side kept the South Africans on the back foot early in the second half but they failed to score with a Harris penalty attempt.
Having absorbed 13 minutes of pressure, South Africa broke out to score a fourth try with le Roux starting and finishing a move that featured a great off-load from tackled wing Bryan Habana.
Further Springbok tries by le Roux, replacement scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and de Allende and two conversions from replacement fullback Patrick Lambie sealed a comfortable victory.
Skipper Jean de Villiers came off the bench midway through the second half to a standing ovation from the Newlands stadium crowd for his first game since suffering a serious knee injury in Wales eight months ago as South Africa began a five-match World Cup countdown.
"It was awesome to be back," said the 34-year-old, who showed no ill effects of his long absence and made a break to set up the fifth of seven Springbok tries.
"I felt fine and it was very emotional running on to the field with the crowd cheering me. It is so nice to be back."
Man of the match: Steffon Armitage and Jordan Taufua were menaces all over the field. Bakkies Botha did not have the best outing but certainly deserves a mention for his glittering career. For the Springboks, Jesse Kriel certainly put his hand up at outside centre and combined well with Damien De Allende, who had a great first half showing. Ruan Pienaar ensured the backline received quality ball to attack with. However, there would be little doubt as to the class of Marcell Coetzee, not only at the breakdown but his all-round game.
Moment of the match: With a total of eight tries in the match, there are plenty of choices. In the end, Schalk Burger's interception saw him break the line and find Jean de Villiers. The returning centre went on a gingerly run up the middle of the field before firing a pass to Willie le Roux on the left touchline for his hat-trick.
Villain of the match: You would not expect there to be any niggle in a match like this, however, there was one moment which was not needed. Bakkies Botha found himself being flattened by a Jannie du Plessis shoulder, which sent the lock off the field to undergo a concussion test. The shoulder charge went unnoticed by the referee.
For South Africa:
Tries: De Allende 2, Etzebeth, Le Roux 3, Reinach
Cons: Pollard 2, Lambie 2
For World XV:
Yellow cards: Francois Louw (South Africa, 59 – professional foul, taking the player out in the air), Willie le Roux (South Africa, 69 – foul play, no arms tackle)
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Teboho Mohoje, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jean de Villiers.
World XV: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Lachlan Turner, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 David Smith, 10 Mike Harris, 9 Luke Burgess,
8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Jordan Taufua, 5 Bakkies Botha (captain), 4 Ali Williams, 3 Carl Hayman, 2 Craig Burden, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 David Roumieu, 17 Alexandre Menini, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Louis-Benoit Madaule, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Andrew Horrell, 23 Rudi Wulf.
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)
AFP and @Tagels03