The Springboks made a statement of intent as they produced a fine showing to cruise to a 76-0 bonus-point victory against Romania in their Rugby World Cup clash in Bordeaux on Sunday.
As the scoreline suggests, this was a one-sided affair as the defending world champions dominated from start to finish and eventually ran in 12 tries with Cobus Reinach and Makazole Mapimpi crossing for a hat-trick apiece.
Grant Williams (2), Damian Willemse, Deon Fourie, Willie le Roux also dotted down and they were also awarded a penalty try.
The Boks’ other points came via five conversions from Willemse while Faf de Klerk also succeeded with a couple of two-pointers off the kicking tee.
The Boks started their rout as early as the third minute when Reinach broke off the back of a scrum on Romania’s five-metre line before selling the defence a dummy on his way over the try-line.
Soon after, Mapimpi ran onto an inside pass from Le Roux and cantered in for an easy five-pointer and then Reinach got over for his second five-pointer after outpacing the cover defence, which meant South Africa were holding a comfortable 19-0 lead after just 10 minutes.
Two minutes later, Willemse bamboozled the Oaks with excellent footwork before crossing for his five-pointer and soon after Marco van Staden dotted down off the back of a lineout drive but his effort was disallowed by the TMO for obstruction in the build-up.
South Africa put that setback behind them and in the 24th minute Reinach went over for his third try with Willemse adding the extras to give the Boks a commanding 33-0 lead at half-time.
The #Springboks have made a statement with a big win in Bordeaux. Thanks for the game @RugbyRomania and good luck for the rest of your campaign🙌#StrongerTogether #RWC2023 #RSAvROM pic.twitter.com/gRKms2kzK5
— Springboks (@Springboks) September 17, 2023
The Boks continued to dominate after the interval and there were a first Test tries for Fourie – shortly after he came on to replace captain Bongi Mbonambi at half-time – and Williams midway through the half.
With the match in the bag, the Boks did not take their foot off the pedal and it was one-way traffic for this game. In the 53rd minute, South Africa put great pressure on Romania at a scrum close to the try-line and referee Mathieu Raynal had no option but to award a penalty try.
Williams then got his name onto the scoresheet on the hour-mark, which brought up a half century of points, before Mapimpi went over for his second five-pointer shortly afterwards.
It was more of the same in the closing stages as Mapimpi went over for his third five-pointer in the 67th minute before Le Roux capped a fine display when he crossed for his try in the 74th minute which sealed an emphatic victory.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Grant Williams, 13 Canan Moodie, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Marco van Staden, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi (c), 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Jesse Kriel
Romania: 15 Marius Simionescu, 14 Tevita Manumua, 13 Jason Tomane, 12 Taylor Gontineac, 11 Nicholas Onutu, 10 Hinckley Vaovasa, 9 Gabriel Rupanu, 8 Cristian Chirica (c), 7 Vlad Neculau, 6 Andre Gorin, 5 Marius Iftimiciuc, 4 Adrian Motoc, 3 Alexandru Gordas, 2 Ovidiu Cojocaru, 1 Iulian Hartig
Replacements: 16 Robert Irimescu, 17 Alexandru Savin, 18 Thomas Cretu, 19 Stefan Iancu, 20 Damian Stratila, 21 Cristi Boboc, 22 Alin Conache, 23 Gabriel Pop
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Pierre Brousset (France)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)