Samoa rue wasted chances as Boks prevail

(Rugby News Service) Friday 30 September 2011
Samoa rue wasted chances as Boks prevail
South Africa wing Bryan Habana scores his 40th Test try

AUCKLAND, 30 Sept. - Samoa captain Mahonri Schwalger was left to rue his team's wasted opportunities as they fell 13-5 to South Africa in a physical encounter at North Harbour Stadium on Friday.

The Samoans enjoyed long periods of possession in the second half but were unable to make it count on the scoreboard.

"We didn't take our opportunities and got punished," Schwalger said.

"I am disappointed but proud of what the boys did out there tonight. They gave it their all for our people and our country."

South Africa captain Victor Matfield was relieved to come away with a hard-fought Pool D victory.

"We did OK in the first half but we went to sleep in the second half. The Samoans had a lot of the ball."

Rough and ready

The play was often rough and ready as Samoa made inroads in the second spell and it boiled over when Paul Williams was sent off in the 70th minute.

Samoa's man of the match from their last game was given his marching orders for striking Heinrich Brüssow in the face after the South African had hit Williams repeatedly to free himself from the Samoan's grip.

South Africa replacement John Smit then received a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on and kicking the ball away, so both teams ended with 14 men on the field.

South Africa took a 13-0 lead into the second half, but Samoa reduced the margin through George Stowers as the Pacific Islanders took the game to the defending champions.

The first incident of the second half was a left thigh injury to Bryan Habana from the kick-off. He stayed on the field, before eventually being replaced by Francois Hougaard in the 47th minute.

Samoa had threatened with some probing hard running and eventually succeeded in breaching the defence with a scintilating backline move which ended with George Stowers getting the ball from Tusi Pisi and diving over.

Dominating play

Pisi missed the conversion, but Samoa were on the board at 13-5.

Samoa were dominating play as they threw everything at South Africa, who in turn got a little ragged.

The Springboks were able to absorb the Samoa pressure and managed the occasional break. On one of these forays, Bismarck du Plessis looked to have gone over for a try, but the attempt was ruled inconclusive.

Habana had scored the first South Africa points, with his 40th Test try in the left hand corner after receiving a pass from du Plessis in the ninth minute.

Morné Steyn posted the conversion from the touchline, which made him the first player at RWC 2011 to score 50 points.

Frans Steyn made it 10-0 with a penalty in the 24th minute and two minutes later some indiscipline from Kane Thompson resulted in another penalty, which Morné Steyn dispatched to make it 13-0.

RNS gy/mr/sg