Springboks bounce back with strong statement win over Italy

November 19, 2022 0 By Cypher9ja



The Springboks bounced back from their tight defeats against Ireland and France, with an impressive statement 63-21 (halftime 18-13) win over an in-form Italy at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris in Genoa on Saturday afternoon.

Playing against a tricky wind in the first half the Boks did well to take a five point lead into the halftime break, before emphatically dominating the second half, scoring seven tries to the hosts one in the period to pull away for a much needed positive result.

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The Springboks enjoyed a cracking start to the match, putting Italy under huge pressure from the kick-off which led to a poor clearance and lineout near the 22m, which they attacked from, spreading the ball quickly for wing Kurt-Lee Arendse to go in at the corner in under two minutes.

Wing Cheslin Kolbe then pushed the conversion wide, before Italy flyhalf Tommaso Allan got them on the board with a penalty, followed by Kolbe replaying with one of his own with the score 8-3 after nine minutes.

Straight from the kick-off Italy won the ball back, attacked and fullback Ange Capuozzo hit a superb line, scything through the Bok defence and running away to score a brilliant solo try, with Allan’s conversion giving them a 10-8 lead after 12 minutes.

Allan and Kolbe then traded penalties in the 20th and 25th minutes, with the score 13-11, before the Boks retook the lead in the 30th minute.

A lineout in the Italy 22m, saw a strong maul from the Boks, before hooker Bongi Mbonambi broke off and forced his way over, with Kolbe then adding the extras to move into a 18-13 lead which they held on to take into the half time break.

Emphatic second half

Italy then got off to a good start in the second half as Allan nailed his third penalty to reduce the deficit to two points.

But straight from the kick off a brilliant chase from Kolbe saw him field the ball and run away to score, but unfortunately seemed to injure himself, as Faf de Klerk missed the conversion.

The Boks were now in the ascendancy, and good play saw them get onto the Italy 22m, where they spread the ball wide for captain Siya Kolisi to put Arendse into the corner, with Manie Libbok, who replaced Kolbe, then stepping up to slot the conversion from touch to put them 30-16 up after 49 minutes.

 Seven minutes later and the Boks were back in the Italian 22m with a 5m lineout, with a good variation getting them close, allowing replacement forward Kwagga Smith to pick up the ball, throw a dummy and dive over next to the uprights, with Libbok’s conversion giving them a 37-16 lead.

In the 63rd minute the Boks were then in for their fourth try of the half and sixth of the game, as they powered a massive maul over for Marx to dot down, with Libbok missing the conversion.

Italy then finally responded with a good team try to eighthman Lorenzo Cannone, only for the Boks to hit straight back with a converted try to replacement prop Steven Kitshoff making the score 49-21 after 70 minutes.

The Boks were however not finished as from a scrum in the Italian 22m they attacked with the ball spread to Damian Willemse, who had shifted to the right wing, to go over in the corner, with Libbok slotting the conversion as they moved 56-21 up after 75 minutes.

The Boks then deservedly had the final say in the game as Arendse put the cherry on a brilliant performance by cutting through the Italian defence. before putting away replacement scrumhalf Cobus Reinach for a converted try on the full time whistle.

Scorers

Italy: Tries – Ange Capuozzo, Lorenzo Cannone; Conversion – Tommaso Allan; Penalties – Allan (3)

Springboks: Tries – Kurt-Lee Arendse (2), Bongi Mbonambi, Cheslin Kolbe, Kwagga Smith, Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Damian Willemse, Cobus Reinach; Conversions – Cheslin Kolbe, Manie Libbok (5); Penalties – Kolbe (2)