Boks bash past Brave Blossoms to reach RWC semifinals
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa took on Japan in the last of the quarterfinals at the Rugby World Cup.
The Springboks went into the clash off the back of a 66-7 win over Canada in their final pool match.
Japan were flawless in the group phase, winning all of their matches.
South Africa got off to the perfect start as Makazole Mapimpi continued his try-scoring form showing good strength and pace to evade a couple of Japanese defenders and go over in the corner following a solid scrum in the hosts 22.
There was a nervy moment for Beast Mtawarira. He was shown a yellow card for a tip tackle in the 10th minute, but it could have been a lot worse had the referee consulted the TMO.
Yu Tamura slotted a penalty in Beast's absence to reduce the gap to 2 points heading into the 20th minute.
The hosts used that as a springboard to dominate the next 10 minutes, having 81% possession. The Bok defence held firm though with Lukhanyo Am making numerous important tackles.
Am had his chance to make a contribution on the attack with five minutes to go until half time. His pass to Mapimpi was closer to the ground than it was to his hands with just the try line in front of him.
The Springboks had two more good chances to score but Willie le Roux knocked on when South Africa had an overlap and Damian de Allende was denied a try after he was adjudged to have made a double movement.
South Africa going into the break with a narrow 5-3 lead.
The Springboks were first to get on the scoresheet again in the second half. Handre Pollard slotting a penalty after a high tackle on Mapimpi.
Pollard added another three points moments later to extend the lead to 11-3 after the first 10 minutes of the second half.
The flyhalf had the chance to extend the lead even further but missed the penalty as South Africa began to get a foothold in the game.
He would make amends for that miss heading into the final 20 minutes by slotting another 3 pointers as South Africa asserted their dominance.
That dominance eventually brought them their second try of the game. Faf de Klerk going over under the posts after a rumbling maul by the forwards and good offload by Malcolm Marx to set de Klerk on his way.
Into the final 10 minutes and Mapimpi went over for his second of the game. Pollard with a good line break and pass to le Roux who timed his pass to Mapimpi perfectly.
The winger going joint top of the try-scoring charts with five in the tournament.
South Africa with a 26-3 lead heading into the last five minutes.
That is how the match would end as South Africa set up a semifinal clash against Wales on 27 October.
This article first appeared on EWN : Boks bash past Brave Blossoms to reach RWC semifinals
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