Rugby World Cup 2003
Boks bulldoze Uruguay
Scrum's Graham Jenkins at the Subiaco Oval
October 11, 2003
Joost van der Westhuizen scores one of his hat-trick of tries
© Getty Images
The Springboks swept to an expected easy 72-6 victory over minnows Uruguay at the Subiaco Oval in their only warm-up before the eagerly anticipated clash with England next weekend.
A crowd of just under 17,000 made their support for the South Americans known throughout the game but it was not enough to lift them past a far superior South African side that looked keen to impress.
Rudolf Straueli's side ran in a total of twelve tries with veteran skipper and scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen grabbing a hat-trick to show he is in top form and determined to inspire his side to a strong World Cup showing.
The signs were ominous for Uruguay from the off when van der Westhuizen was on hand to take an easy pass from van Niekerk to touch down in the corner after only a couple of minutes. The scrum-half grabbed his second shortly after some good work from Willemse created the opening. This one was converted by Koen.
Uruguay's efforts were welcomed by the crowd as they chanted their name in the hope of lifting them but the Boks responded by gladly running from deep to stretch their opponents.
South Africa's creativity soon brought more reward when a sweeping move saw flankers Rossouw and van Niekerk combine excellently to see the latter grab a try. Koen once again added the extras.
The stadium erupted when Diego Aguirre slotted over a penalty to put his side on the scoreboard and a positive passage of play followed for Diego Ormachea's side resulting in another sweetly struck penalty met once again with roars of delight.
The Boks soon bounced back when Greef caused problems by joining the line in a move that saw Botha crash in at the corner to secure the bonus point. Another sweeping move saw Delport put his name on the scoresheet but Koen's on-off day continued as he failed with both conversion attempts.
The Boks were not finished for the half yet when another excellent move from the Bok backline saw Barry create the break before feeding Fourie, who raced away for the score. This time Koen converted to send them into the break 36-6 in the lead.
Uruguay were soon under the kosh again after the break but their defence held out for a few minutes at least. Unable to get out of their 22, the Boks pressured at a lineout and Bands swooped in to power over for the try.
Rossouw showed great strength shortly after bouncing off tackles inside the 22 before crashing in under the posts. Koen slotted the conversion to bring up the half century. Van der Westhuizen clinched his hat-trick in typical style on the hour by burrowing over from a metre out and his delight illusrated the Boks' determination to go all out for this crown.
The much-touted Hougaard entered the fray as the predicatble changes came from Rudolf Straeuli and he looked to have capped his debut with a try but the video official ruled he spilled the ball as he attempted to touch down.
But there was still time for the Boks to rally again and it was Botha who grabbed his second try before Scholtz and Greef also crossed to ensure the emphatic result.
Uruguay can take credit from their performance which showed some good defensive qualities but the vast gap in class was always going to be a huge problem.
For Straeuli the result will not have brought any surprise but some of the performances will have brought some relief ahead of their big test against England next Saturday, but they will need to step up to a whole new level again.
South Africa: 72