South Africa bag bonus point win after Tonga test

South Africa bag bonus point win after Tonga test

South Africa scored seven tries as they beat Tonga 49-18 in their final pool match of Rugby World Cup 2023 at Stade de Marseille on Sunday.

Tries from Cobus Reinach, Canan Moodie and Deon Fourie gave the Springboks a 21-8 half-time lead, while Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Marco van Staden and Kwagga Smith added second-half scores. All seven were converted by fly-half Handre Pollard and his replacement Manie Libbok.

Ben Tameifuna, Fine Inisi and Patrick Pellegrini responded for Tonga, who made the defending champions work hard for their victory.

The Springboks have gone top of Pool B following their bonus-point win, but must now wait for the result of the match between Ireland and Scotland in Paris on 7 October to find out if they will progress to the quarter-finals.

Deon Fourie, who won the Mastercard Player of the Match having started at hooker when he normally plays in the back-row, said he had no problems with the switch.

“No, it was a good game. We expected a tough game," said Fourie. "I've played hooker earlier in my career so it wasn't too bad. It went well today and I'm glad.

"I trained there for the last two years with the Boks and our motto is: we train how we play. That paid dividends today."

After moving into the back row when Marco van Staden came on, he added: "I must say it's quite tough moving from hooker to flanker. The body is old but I did a good job."

Tonga captain Tameifuna hailed his side's display after they scored three tries against the reigning world champions.

"It was a hard battle out there," said Tameifuna. "This team, we don't have a lot, but the boys turn up at this tough tournament and to put a performance like that shows where we are all heading.

"South Africa are the best in the world and it's always tough to cross their line and we managed to do that a few times tonight."

"In these kind of games, especially with the South Africans, you have to meet fire with fire and the boys did that tonight. If we did it for longer phases we might have got a result. I'm proud of the boys.

"The crowd have been bloody awesome. I'd like to thank everyone. We just need to recover well and look forward to next week."

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