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Rugby World Cup

Springboks Ease to Victory Over Italy

South Africa have secured another win in Pool B of the Rugby World Cup with a simple victory over Italy

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(Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

The Springboks have secured a 49-3 win over Italy this morning in Pool B of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The win means that South Africa will qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament if they beat Canada on Tuesday. A brace of tries from Cheslin Kolbe along with touchdowns from Bongi Mbonambi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx saw them ease to a bonus-point, which was made all the easier by Italy having Andrea Lovotti sent-off early in the second-half. 

South Africa got off to a quick start and were ahead after six minutes when some quick-handling out the back led to Kolbe receiving the ball on the right-wing where he stepped inside and walked over for the opening try of the game. Handre Pollard slotted over the conversion to make it 7-0. 

Three minutes on and Italy reduced the lead by three through the boot of Tomasso Allan from a penalty. 

However, four minutes on and Pollard knocked over three points of his own to stretch the lead once more. 

On 27 minutes the Boks where in for try number two when a driving maul was finished off by hooker Mbonambi for his third try in two games. Pollard converted to make it 17-3 and that’s how remained at half-time. 

Three minutes into the second-half and things got much worse for Italy as prop Lovotti was shown a straight red card for a tip tackle on Duane Vermeulen. 

Pollard decided to take an easy three points eight minutes later to keep the scoreboard ticking over. 

Although two minutes on and Kolbe was in for his second try of the game as Pollard kicked over the top for the flying winger, who raced onto the ball and went over. Pollard missed from the tee leaving it at 25-3. 

Just before the hour mark and the Springboks had the bonus-point as centre Am intercepted a loose pass before sprinting over four his side’s fourth try, which Pollard again converted. 

Willie le Roux made a lovely little chip kick into the Italian 22 with 12 minutes remaining, where winger Mapimpi caught the ball and ran in for his 11th try in 11 games for his country. Pollard made no mistake to bring the lead out to 39-3. 

Snyman was on hand to pick up a loose offload by the Italians beside the try-line, after some great pressing by Kolbe forced the mistake. Pollard couldn’t add the extras this time around. 

There was late gloss to the scoreboard when another line-out led to a maul.  Marx barrelled from the back, and with the clock in red Pollard lashed the kick wide, leaving the final score as 49-3. 

The Boks will look to continue their winning ways when they take on Canada on Tuesday in a short turnaround. While for Italy things only get harder when they face the All Blacks on Saturday October 12th. 

Springboks Player Ratings

Starting XV:

Willie le Roux (8), Cheslin Kolbe (9), Lukhanyo Am (8), Damian de Allende (6), Makazole Mapimpi (7), Handré Pollard (8), Faf de Klerk (7), Duane Vermeulen (8), Pieter-Steph du Toit (8), Siya Kolisi (7), Lood de Jager (7), Eben Etzebeth (7), Frans Malherbe (7), Bongi Mbonambi (7), Tendai Mtawarira (7)

Replacements (8)

Rugby World Cup

Jones Makes Spy Claims After England Training

England head coach Eddie Jones has made some big claims following his side’s training session earlier today

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(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England head coach Eddie Jones has claimed that someone was spying on his team’s training session earlier today in Japan.

Jones’ England are preparing for the biggest game of their Rugby World Cup campaign so far as they face the All Blacks on Saturday. However, Jones has made a claim that someone was filming his side during training but that he has nothing to hide. 

“There was definitely someone in the apartment block (across from the training ground) filming, it might have been a Japanese fan. You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube. There’s absolutely no value in that anymore. Don’t care, mate. Don’t care. We knew from the start that they were filming and it doesn’t change anything we do. We have two security guards – Prince Harry’s… and the ex-Prime Minister’s. Only those two. Lovely blokes,” he said. 

The Aussie also admitted that he used to spy on team’s years ago but that he doesn’t see the point anymore. 

“We used to do it [secretly film opposition training sessions]. I haven’t done it since 2001. There’s no need. Everyone knows what everyone else does. There are no surprises in world rugby anymore,” he added. 

In a press conference filled with madness from Jones he also stated that most of New Zealand’s media reporters are “fans with keyboards”. 

Jones is known for playing mind-games before matches and has heaped the pressure on the All Blacks saying that his side have nothing to lose while their opposition have the weight of the world on their shoulders and it will be tough for them to be mentally prepared. 

“We don’t have any pressure, mate. No one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks. They [the All Blacks] have got to be thinking, they’re looking for a third straight World Cup, so there will be pressure there. I don’t think they are vulnerable but the pressure is real. The busiest guy for them will be Gilbert Enoka. They will be talking about it the whole week. It’s potentially the last game for their greatest ever coach (Steve Hansen), and for their greatest ever captain (Kieran Read),” he finished. 

England and Jones will need to play the perfect game on Saturday when they take on the All Blacks on Saturday as the Kiwi’s are chasing a third successive Rugby World Cup title and it looks as though Jones will be trying to unsettle them before a ball is even kicked.

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Rugby World Cup

Hansen Explains Read’s Absence at Training

All Blacks captain Kieran Read was nowhere to be seen during the team’s training on Tuesday but head coach Steve Hansen has explained the situation

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(Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed that captain Kieran Read did not train with the rest of the squad today as a precaution to an injury he picked up against Ireland on Saturday.

New Zealand are preparing for their Rugby World Cup semi-final showdown with England on Saturday and while the rest of the squad were training Read was absent with concerns growing over his availability but Hansen insists that the back-rower will be fit for the last-four clash. 

“There is no issue. You didn’t see him train because he was in the gym on the bike. He got a tight calf from the game the other day and we didn’t want to put him out on a wet track today. Yeah, 100 per cent,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Hansen has admitted that replacement forward Matt Todd will definitely not be available this weekend due to injury but should be in contention for next weekend. 

“He is making good progress but not fast enough so he won’t be available (for the England game). He should be right if we are lucky enough to play another game next week,” he added. 

With the game seeing two of the games best coaches line-up against each other in Eddie Jones and Hansen, the latter thinks that it would be stupid not to expect his opposite number to have a few tricks up his sleve ahead of the game. 

“We got the same question from the Irish last week. You’ll be naïve as a coach not to expect the opposition to do something different. That is their job. You practise it and you implement it. If it works, you are a superstar and if it doesn’t you’re an idiot. It’s a fine line we live, us coaches,” he finished. 

New Zealand are looking to make it to yet another World Cup final with victory on Saturday as they continue their quest to win three Webb Ellis Cup’s in a row. However, they know that it will be no easy task against an English side in full flight and fans will be hoping their star captain will be available when the teams are announced later in the week.

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Rugby World Cup

Officials Confirmed for RWC Semi-Finals

World Rugby have announced the officials that will take charge of this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals

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World Rugby have confirmed that Nigel Owens and Jerome Garces will be the referees for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals at the International Stadium Yokohama in Japan.

Following yesterday’s controversy surrounding South African referee Jaco Peyper, where he was pictured posing with Welsh fans and appeared to be mocking the sending off of France forward Sebastien Vahaamahina, World Rugby confirmed that he was not considered for selection. 

That means that Wales’ Owens will take charge of England’s clash with reigning back to back World Cup holders the All Blacks on Saturday, with French duo of Romain Poite and Pascal Gauzere as his assistants. While South Africa’s Marius Jonker is the TMO. 

Meanwhile French referee Garces will be the man in the middle of Wales’ last four showdown with the Springboks on Sunday, with England’s Wayne Barnes and New Zealand’s Ben O’Keeffe as his assistants. Fellow Kiwi Ben Skeen will take to role of TMO. 

Speaking on the appointments chairman of World Rugby Sir Bill Beaumont congratulated those selected explaining they are the best in the business. 

“I would like to congratulate Nigel and Jérôme, the assistant referees and TMOs on their selection for the semi-finals. These are the best of the best, supported by a superb team, and we now look forward to compelling semi-finals at International Stadium Yokohama over the weekend,” he said. 

The officials were selected after a review of their performances so far in the tournament as well as making it a neutral selection for each game. As for Peyper it remains to be seen what his full punishment will be following an investigation by World Rugby.

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