Dominant South Africa Crush Romania in Pool B Clash
By Kevin Rademeyer
BORDEAUX, France - South Africa continued their Rugby World Cup 2023 campaign in spectacular fashion, securing a resounding 76-0 victory over their Pool B opponents, Romania, in a match held at Stade de Bordeaux on Sunday.
From the outset, the Springboks displayed their championship pedigree, surging to a commanding 26-0 lead in just over 10 minutes. Tries flowed freely, with Cobus Reinach claiming a magnificent hat-trick, accompanied by scores from Makazole Mapimpi and Damian Willemse. Reinach's remarkable performance saw him enter the halftime break with his team leading 33-0.
In the second half, the South Africans showed no mercy, with Mapimpi notching a brace to complete his hat-trick. Deon Fourie, Grant Williams (2), and Willie Le Roux also etched their names on the scoresheet in a masterful display by the Springboks.
Makazole Mapimpi, who was named the Mastercard Player of the Match, expressed his gratitude towards the fervent Springboks supporters who cheered their team on every step of the way. "We appreciate that. I see you guys behind us all the time," said the wing. "I don't put myself in front (first), it's all about the team. It's not about me walking over to score the tries. A lot of guys did well - André [Esterhuizen], Willie [Le Roux] - and I appreciate their work."
Despite the heavy defeat, Romania's head coach, Eugen Apjok, found some solace in the performance of his team, especially in parts of their matches against Ireland and the reigning world champions, South Africa. "We had the first 25 minutes in the Irish game and today the last 20 minutes of the first half - we can take some positives," he said. "We need to learn a lot about how to manage, especially in the breakdown."
Romania's captain, Cristian Chirica, maintained an optimistic outlook despite the challenging circumstances. "It is very important for us to play against the best teams in the world because we are a young team that needs experience," he said. "It is very hard to play against teams like South Africa which are very tough and very physical, but we are happy to be here and we are trying to do our best."
With their dominant victory over Romania, South Africa can now set their sights on their upcoming clash against Ireland in Saint-Denis on Saturday. Jacques Nienaber, the head coach of the Springboks, expressed his satisfaction with various aspects of their performance, stating, "I'm especially happy with a couple of things we tried. The three different hookers that we used - I thought that paid off. Then Faf [de Klerk] got some exposure at 10 - so I thought a lot of things that we wanted to get out of the game, we got."
The Springboks' confidence remains high as they march forward in their quest for Rugby World Cup glory.
[Submitted by Kevin Rademeyer]