South Africa show leaves Eagles grounded
MONTPELLIER, 30 September - South Africa ran in nine tries to post a 64-15 score against the USA in their final Pool A match at Stade de la Mosson, despite some good rugby by the Eagles.
The Springboks took an early lead in the first half as Schalk Burger marked his return by scooping up a Butch James pass to crash over on the right, before Percy Montgomery reclaimed his place at the top of the scorers' chart by converting the kick.
With the score at 10-3, some desperate USA defence saw them go down to 14 men as flanker Todd Clever saw yellow. Francois Steyn capitalised with a try on 28 minutes, before Bryan Habana extended the lead and Montgomery converted his fourth kick of the night.
On half time Habana could do nothing as USA wing Takudzwa Ngwenya hared down the right to cap a length-of-the-field move, with Mike Hercus converting to add to his earlier penalty and make it 24-10.
The improved scoreline survived for just over a minute of the second half. South Africa spread the ball to Habana, who had an easy task to slide home in the corner, before Montgomery missed his first kick of the night. Then substitute prop CJ van der Linde shrugged off three challenges to cross the whitewash, with Montgomery getting back on track with the kick.
Full back Chris Wyles shocked the Pool A winners again soon afterwards, going over for a try despite the attention of a clutch of Springbok backs. But the South Africa riposte wasn't long in coming, Fourie du Preez feinting a pass before running through to touch down, and Montgomery converting to make it 43-15. Then, on 60 minutes, an irresistable Springboks move was finished off by Jaque Fourie on the right and Montgomery did the business with the boot.
With 10 minutes to go, USA did everything except score.
However, Fourie rubbed in the salt with his second try, with James converting the kick, before Juan Smith went over to cap a good night for the Springboks.