Tuesday 15 October 2019

Erasmus happy as team get into gear in Toyota

Head coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Head coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus believes his side have built a World Cup foundation with a first win of the tournament against Namibia.

The Springboks bounced back from an opening Pool B defeat to New Zealand by comfortably beating their African neighbours 57-3 in Toyota City yesterday.

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"When you lose a game like the previous game, you want to get some winning momentum back," Erasmus said after his team's nine-try display. "We have certain things we like to get back to and I thought we did do that.

"So we'll build from this. Now we've got this big Italy game, which probably will determine if we go to the quarter-finals or not. I think this will give us a nice springboard to get into that game.

"I know Namibia is probably targeting the Canada game so they rested a few players. So we won't read too much into the score."

South Africa were skippered by Schalk Brits, who played in an unfamiliar number eight position as Erasmus made 13 changes from the All Blacks defeat. The 38-year-old former Saracens hooker swapped the front row for the back row and marked the occasion with only his second Test try to complete the scoring in the final 10 minutes. "Whatever the coach wants, I'll play," Brits said. "Just to be on the pitch with such a great bunch of boys - it's phenomenal. They (Italy) will bring different challenges.

"We've all watched both of their games and it's a great side, with Conor (O'Shea) in charge. We'll analyse them and hopefully we can outsmart them."

Namibia play reigning champions New Zealand next with their hopes of a first World Cup victory resting on their October 13 clash with Canada. "We came in with a lot of courage, a little bit of flair at times," said Namibia head coach Phil Davies, the former Wales international.

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"I'm very proud of the players, playing against South Africa for 20 minutes with 14 men (because of two yellow cards) as well. It's a good sort of boost for the players to go into the next game. To keep them to under 60 points is pleasing in some ways."

Argentina bounced back from their opening-round defeat to France with a 28-12 victory over Tonga in Osaka, with Julian Montoya playing a starring role.

The hooker's two early tries put the Pumas 14-0 ahead after 18 minutes of the Pool C clash and he ploughed over to complete his hat-trick and earn Argentina a bonus point before the break.

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