South Africa score bonus-point win after Tonga test
South Africa scored seven tries as they beat Tonga 49-18 in their final Pool ‘B’ match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup at the Stade de Marseille in France on Sunday.
Tries from Cobus Reinach, Canan Moodie and Deon Fourie gave the Springboks a 21-8 half-time lead, while Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Marco van Staden and Kwagga Smith added second-half scores. All seven tries were converted by fly half Handre Pollard and his replacement Manie Libbok.
Ben Tameifuna, Fine Inisi and Patrick Pellegrini responded for Tonga, who made the defending champions work hard for their victory. Tonga got the first points on the board through an early penalty from William Havili. But South Africa were soon in front when scrum half Cobus
Reinach tapped up a quick penalty before sprinting over in the corner. The Springboks further extended their lead in the 20th minute when the ball bounced off Vincent Koch’s shoulder and straight to Canan Moodie, who darted under the posts.
Makazole Mapimpi went off for a head-injury assessment after being caught by Augustine Pulu as they ducked into a tackle. English referee Luke Pearce and the TMO agreed it was not a yellow-card offence by the Tongan, who was down on his knees at point of contact.
South Africa, edged out 13-8 by Ireland at the Stade de France, scored again through Deon Fourie on the half-hour mark following a driving maul from a line-out before Tonga had a try on the board when captain Ben Tameifuna powered over to reduce the deficit to 21-8 at half time.
The Springboks secured a bonus-point try early in the second half when replacement Jesse Kriel pushed over and the TMO then ruled against a yellow card to Eben Etzebeth for a collision with Tonga full back Salesi Piutau.
Tonga responded again as winger Fine Inisi touched down in the corner, only for Willie Le Roux to go over down the left and South Africa replacement Marco van Staden added another try following a well-worked swift counter. Coventry fly half Pat Pellegrini produced a memorable moment as he chased down his own kick to score under the posts before Kwagga Smith dived over for South Africa’s seventh try in added time. It was the first time since the 2015 World Cup that the Springboks had conceded three tries in a match. (C.D)
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