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Rugby World Cup

Springboks Crush Resilient Canadian Side

The Springboks have sealed their route to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup with a resounding victory over Canada

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(Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

South Africa have confirmed their place in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup in Japan with a 66-7 win over Canada in Pool B this morning.

Tries from Damien de Allendre, Sbu Nkosi, Warrick Gelant, Frans Steyn, Schalk Brits, Damien Willemse, Frans Malherbe and a hat-trick from Cobus Reinach saw the Springboks collect a bonus-point victory over their opponents. 

The Boks got off to a flying start as de Allendre went over from close-range following a pass by Elton Jantjies to get their first try on the board after just three minutes. The No 10 made no mistake with the conversion to make it 7-0. 

Three minutes on and Kwagga Smith produced a lovely offload on the left-wing to Nkosi, who raced over in the corner, with Jantjies missing the extras this time around. 

Another three minutes on and it there was a piece of magic from Reinach as he broke through the Canadian defence deep inside his own half before chipping the ball over the top and gathering the ball and darting over for a wonderful individual try. Jantjies smashed over the conversion. 

Eight minutes on and Reinach was in again as he took the ball from a ruck five-metres out from the Canadian line to dive over, with Jantjies once more perfect from the tee. 

With 20 minutes on the clock South Africa sent a perfect cross-field kick over to Gelant who charged forward from his own half, with the ball eventually finding its way to Reinach who simply had to touch down for the quickest hat-trick in World Cup history. Jantjies kicked the two extras to make it 33-0. 

Gelant got in for a try of his own just before the half-hour mark when the backs spread the ball out wide for the winger to power over, with Jantjies stretching the lead out to 40-0. 

Things got worse for Canada just before the break as Josh Larsen was sent-off for a shoulder charge. 

On the stroke of half-time Steyn took full-advantage of a loose piece of play when the Canadians took a quick tap and go on their own five-metre line, sending a pass out to the right which Steyn intercepted and went over. Jantjies made it 47-0 at half-time with the conversion. 

Canada started the brighter of the two sides after the half-time break and went over for a try of their own through Matt Heaton six minutes in which Peter Horne converted to make it 47-7. 

However, nine minutes on and the Boks were in once more as Brits gathered the ball near the line and charged over, with the conversion making it 54-7. 

With 66 minutes on the clock Willemse raced over as the backs sent the ball through the hands, in what was his first international try and again Jantjies converted. 

Seven minutes from time substitute Malherbe barged over from close-range, but Jantjies couldn’t add the extras leaving the score at 66-7 come full-time. 

The win ensures that the Boks will go through to the last-eight, and will know their opponents come Sunday, while Canada will conclude their tournament when they face Namibia over the weekend as they go in search of their first win.

Springboks Player Ratings

Starting XV:

Damian Willemse (8), Warrick Gelantn (7), Damian de Allende (7), Frans Steyn (8), Sbu Nkosi (8), Elton Jantjies (8), Cobus Reinach (9); Thomas du Toit (7), Schalk Brits (8), Vincent Koch (7), RG Snyman (9), Franco Mostert (7), Siya Kolisi (7), Kwagga Smith (8), Francois Louw (7)

Replacements (7)

International

Ireland Climb in Latest World Rankings

Ireland have had the biggest boost in the latest World Rugby Rankings ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw later this year

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ireland have leapfrogged Wales in the latest World Rugby Rankings of the the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw in November of this year.

The boys in green have taken over the No 4 spot in the rankings following their 24-14 win over Wales in the Six Nations over the weekend, with their opponents dropping down to fifth. 

It is a major boost for the Irish and gives them something to hold on to heading into the rest of this year’s fixtures as they are now currently in the top seeds ahead of the draw for the pool stages of France 2023. 

World Rugby announced recently that they will hold the draw later this year meaning that teams will have less time to climb the rankings than last time around when they had 18 months between the previous World Cup and the draw for the next one. 

A total of twelve teams will head into the draw as seeds in three brackets with the top four in the rankings being first seeds, meaning as of now Wales would be second seeds along with France, Australia and Japan. 

While Scotland, Argentina, Italy and Fiji are in the third bracket, with the remainder of the teams to be decided through different qualifiers over the next three years. 

Elsewhere in the rankings Georgia have moved up ahead of Italy, following the former’s latest two defeats in the Six Nations, while the biggest risers have been Portugal, who have moved from 22nd to 20th, but Russia have dived from 20th to 25th. 

Ireland will be hoping to continue their perfect start to the Six Nations campaign when they take on the third-ranked team England away from home, whom they may look to overtake in the rankings before the draw. 

It is certainly heating up between the Six Nations teams as they try to be the best-placed behind South Africa and New Zealand, who take the first and second spots, but won’t play until the summer.

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Rugby World Cup

World Rugby Confirm Timing of 2023 RWC Draw

World Rugby have confirmed when they will be hosting the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw and it has put pressure on teams to get positive results this year

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(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

World Rugby has announced that it will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup draw in November of this year.

The tournament will take place in France with the draw being held in Paris following the November internationals. 

That means that teams only have between now and then to better their current rankings and move into a different drawing band, whereas for the previous draw they had 18 months to improve. 

Speaking on the announcement World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont is excited to discover the fate of the teams and has put the pressure on teams to do well this year. 

“The pool draw is an important milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France as it really drives excitement and momentum both in the host nation and throughout the global rugby family – it is the moment teams and fans can start to plan. With the World Rugby rankings determining the bands for the RWC 2023 pool draw, it promises to be a fascinating year of men’s international rugby with every match counting towards seeding at the end of the November Test series,” he said. 

Twelve of the 20 participating teams from last year’s World Cup in Japan have automatically qualified, with the other eight to be decided in the qualifiers that will begin later this year. 

However, the twelve teams that are already involved will have to be at their best to move up a band in the current rankings or fear dropping down in which case they could get a harder draw. 

As of this moment the first band contains the World Cup semi-finalists from last year in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Wales, with the remaining quarter-finalists making up band two in Ireland, Australia, Japan and France. 

While in band three Scotland and Argentina are joined by Italy and Fiji. 

It will be a tough task for teams to improve their current standings with the Six Nations teams only having one edition of the tournament to improve compared to the two editions they had last time around, but it does add some extra competition to this year’s fixtures.

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Fans Player of the Decade Confirmed

World Rugby have announced the winner of their Fans Player of the Decade vote and there’s no surprise who’s won

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(Photo by Koki Nagahama/Getty Images)

Former All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter has been named World Rugby’s Fans Player of the Decade following their polls over the past couple of weeks.

The organisation narrowed the competition down to 16 players, as they split them into a last-16 style format, with backs on one side and forwards on the other. With two players going head-to-head in the polls to make it through to each respective round. 

Last week it was brought down to the final four, with all of them being New Zealand internationals as Carter was pitted up against Beauden Barrett, with Richie McCaw facing Kieran Read. 

McCaw and Carter were victorious and now Carter has come out as the overall winner as the best player over the past 10-years. 

It is not hard to see why fans have gone for the 112-cap All Black, who finished up his international career in 2015, having guided his country to historic back-to-back Rugby World Cup crowns. 

As well as that he holds the title for the most points scored at test-level rugby with an incredible 1598 to his name. 

On the international stage he was impressive, but he has been equally so at club-level, winning domestic crowns in both France with Racing 92 and in Japan with the Kobelco Steelers. 

The 37-year-old is still under contract with the Japanese outfit, but has been unable to play for them for the majority of the year, having suffered a major injury, which also prevented him from a brief return to Racing 92 for the latter-half of last season. 

However, he is poised to return to the playing field shortly and will be hoping to guide his team to further success and will have the aid of another All Black great joining him in the form of Brodie Retallick, who is linking up with the side for the season during his year sabbatical.  

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