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Springboks hammer World XV in Cape Town

Johan Goosen on the charge for the Springboks.

Johan Goosen on the charge for the Springboks. Photo: Getty Images

CAPE TOWN: South Africa survived an early scare to begin their international rugby season with a thumping 47-13 win against a World XV in Cape Town on Saturday.

A pair of tries from hooker Bismarck du Plessis helped the Springboks see off a star-strewn side.

From the kick-off the World XV -- which included All Black legend Carl Hayman and European player of the year Steffon Armitage -- quickly disabused any notion that they were at Newlands to make up the numbers.

Hosea Gear of the World XV lines up the Springboks defence.

Hosea Gear of the World XV lines up the Springboks defence. Photo: Getty Images

South Africa versus World XV
View Match Statistics
Players Habana (16min), Botha (33min), du Plessis (48min, 58min), Goosen (77min), le Roux (79min) Tries 6 Tries 1 Players Hargreaves (5min)
Players Steyn 2/4 (50%), Goosen 2/2 (100%) Conversions 4 Conversions 1 Players O'Connor 1/1 (100%)
Players Steyn 3/3 (100%) Penalty goals 3 Penalty goals 2 Players O'Connor 2/2 (100%)
Players Drop goals 0 Drop goals 0 Players

They challenged the first South African line-out, unperturbed by the presence of reunited veterans Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, each at two metres tall and with almost 200 Tests between them.

Matfield, 37, was making his return to the international game three years after retiring and was named interim captain in Jean de Villiers's absence.

The World XV hit the early rucks at ferocious speed and put a startled Boks team on the back foot.

When they were awarded a penalty in the third minute, well within kicking distance, Rory Kockott -- an uncapped South African who plays club rugby for Castres in the French Top 14 and will soon be eligible to play for Les Bleus -- elected to put it to the corner.

A few bruising phases later the World XV's ex-Bok lock Alistair Hargreaves spun out of a tackle and managed to ground the ball for the first try of the game.

But as the game progressed the Springboks hit their stride.

"The first half was a little bit difficult," admitted Springbok man-of-the-match Botha, his side having led by just 18-13 at the break.

"As a Springbok side we were just happy we could get back to structure in the second half."

Despite the early pressure, the Springboks got their break when a badly fielded box kick allowed them to counter ruck and win possession deep in World XV territory.

With the World XV defence struggling to reorganise the ball went through hands, including a delectable through the legs pass by JP Pietersen, eventually reaching Springbok all-time leading try scorer Bryan Habana who ran it in the corner.

Morne Steyn shanked the conversion wide but the Boks had the lead for the first time, 8-7.

But under severe pressure the Springbok scrum conceded a penalty which was slotted over by James O'Connor, the bad boy of Australian rugby who has refound his head and form at London Irish in the English Premiership.

Then followed some lovely open field running from Habana and eloquent passing between Willie Le Roux, Matfield and Habana, who served up an overhead pass to Botha who slid in over the line.

The sides traded penalties. But trailing 21-13 and with the Springboks gaining momentum the World XV were dealt blow when Georgian flanker Mamuka Gorgodze was shown a yellow card for a ruck infringement.

From that South Africa were able to forge a driving maul with Bismarck du Plessis setting the ball down for his first try. Steyn missed the conversion but the game was effectively beyond reach.

Du Plessis repeated his driving maul manoeuver with 10 minutes to go, with Steyn this time kicking the conversion to make it 33-13.

Two late tries from Johan Goosen and Le Roux sealed the game, the World XV's replacement scrum-half Jimmy Cowan lucky to escape with only a yellow card late on after seeming to aim some stamps at Duane Vermeulen's head.

The Springboks will face Wales in two-Test series beginning next weekend.

SOUTH AFRICA 47 (Bryan Habana, Bakkies Botha, Bismarck du Plessis 2, Johan Goosen, Willie le Roux tries; Morne Steyn 2, Goosen 2 cons; Steyn 3 pens) bt WORLD XV 13 (Alistair Hargreaves try; James O'Connor con, 2 pens).


Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
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