Rugby World Cup 2007
Boks down brave Eagles
September 30, 2007
Bryan Habana beats Chris Wyles of the USA to score
© Getty Images
South Africa warmed up for their World Cup quarter-final with Fiji by running in nine tries against the United States in an entertaining Pool A clash in Montpellier.
Deadly winger Bryan Habana and centre Jaque Fourie touched down twice, with Schalk Burger, Francois Steyn, CJ van der Linde, Fourie du Preez and Juan Smith also going over.
Percy Montgomery added six conversions and a penalty in a 15-point haul as the Springboks rounded off their group campaign with a fourth straight win.
The Eagles, who return home winless and with the group's wooden spoon to boot, managed tries through Takudzwa Ngwenya and Chris Wyles, with Mike Hercus booting a penalty and a conversion.
Habana got his own back when he notched his second try of the night, in the 42nd minute, to open the second half.
Burger and Akona Ndungane did all the hard graft down the middle before the ball made its way to James, who fed Habana for a simple score close to the left corner flag.
Montgomery failed with his conversion, as did Steyn with a 46th-minute penalty attempt.
But the gap was widened two minutes later when Van der Linde ran onto a pop-up pass from Juan Smith and threw off two would-be tacklers to bulldoze over.
The Eagles were not giving up though and managed a second try of the evening when full-back Chris Wyles wriggled over in the left corner, after more good work by Clever.
Hercus missed the conversion, leaving the score 36-15, but normal service was resumed at the other end moments later.
Scrum-half Fourie du Preez, who had been impressive all night, picked up from the base of the ruck and snaked his way through a gap to ground under the sticks, with Montgomery adding his fifth conversion.
Following a clash of heads with Ngwenya, Habana was substituted off to be replaced by JP Pietersen but it did not look too serious for the winger.
The half-century was brought up when Montgomery converted a stunning try by Fourie, who finished off stylishly after some sensational scissors moves in midfield.
And after absorbing a spot of United States pressure, the Springboks broke out again to grab their eighth try, Fourie strolling in for his second. James converted with Montgomery having been substituted.
Smith was the next to go over on 77 minutes and James converted to complete the scoring.