JP Pietersen grabs hat-trick as South Africa get back on track

Springboks run in six tries against Samoa at Villa Park

South Africa’s JP Pietersen scores the second of his three tries in the Pool B win over Samoa at Villa Park. Photograph:  Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

South Africa’s JP Pietersen scores the second of his three tries in the Pool B win over Samoa at Villa Park. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

 

South Africa 46 Samoa 6

JP Pietersen scored a hat-trick of tries as South Africa bounced back from their shock loss to Japan with a 46-6 six-try, bonus-point victory over Samoa at Villa Park.

The two-time World Cup winners learned lessons from the 34-32 Japan defeat in their opening Pool B match and overpowered Samoa in a hugely physical contest in Birmingham.

The Springboks were made to pay for spurning early shots at goal in their Brighton beating, but this time Handre Pollard took the points and Pietersen scored an opportunist try for a 17-6 half-time lead.

South Africa ruthlessly applied the pressure thereafter, with scrumhalf Fourie du Preez outstanding in dictating the tempo.

Pietersen scored two more tries, Schalk Burger was rewarded for an impressive personal performance with a score, replacement hooker Schalk Brits touched down and Bryan Habana added a sixth.

Pollard finished with 14 points, while Michael Stanley’s two penalties were all Samoa could muster in reply.

South Africa next play Scotland and the United States – sides who meet in Leeds on Sunday – and could yet top the pool and claim a more favourable quarter-final draw with two wins.

Samoa next play Japan, eager to respond from a defeat where their intent was stated from the start, with the physicality epitomised by flanker TJ Ioane’s bone-crunching tackle on Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss.

The Pacific Islanders were competitive at the breakdown and in the tackle, but were undone by their inability to relieve pressure, some indiscipline and Stanley’s inaccuracy with the boot.

Pollard kicked a second-minute penalty and South Africa showed their forward supremacy from the restart, driving Samoa backwards.

Stanley kicked two penalties, but the outhalf’s lofted pass was next anticipated by Pietersen, who plucked the ball from the air and raced 50 metres to score.

Pollard dragged the conversion wide, but kicked three more penalties to extend the Springboks’ advantage to 11 points.

There was a minor flare up involving Alesana Tuilagi after Eben Etzebeth’s fine defence, before the former Leicester winger was caught round the neck by Pietersen after chipping over his opposite number.

Pietersen avoided a yellow card, but Stanley was short and wide with the penalty attempt from his own half.

Willie le Roux, who had a first-half score ruled out for a foot in touch, fumbled forwards in collecting a kick in the opening seconds of the second half as South Africa resumed on the attack.

They did not have to wait long for Pietersen to claim another simple score as, after Samoa were squeezed back up front, the wing completed the overlap.

Stanley missed more two penalties, before being replaced by Tusi Pisi, but momentum was already with the Springboks.

Burger crashed through two tackles to score a third try. Pollard’s conversion hit the post.

Cracks appeared in the Springboks defence, but they were reprieved when the Television Match Official spotted a forward pass from Tim Nanai-Williams to Kahn Fotuali’i, ruling out what would have been a fine score by Pisi.

Le Roux was again denied in the corner by Paul Perez’s covering tackle as the Springboks chased a fourth try and with it a bonus point.

But replacement hooker Brits emerged with the ball after a rolling maul from a lineout as the Springboks claimed the score they were looking for.

Pietersen again touched down out wide and Habana raced around a tired Samoa defence late on.

Replacement Pat Lambie converted as the Springboks ensured their World Cup campaign was back on track, only marginally spoilt when a pitch invader in a South Africa jersey came on.

Scoring sequence – 1 min: H Pollard pen, 3-0; 6 mins: M Stanley pen, 3-3; 11 mins: M Stanley pen, 3-6; 14 mins: JP Pietersen try, 8-6; 18 mins: H Pollard pen, 11-6; 24 mins: H Polalrd pen, 14-6; 38 mins: H Pollard pen, 17-6. Half-time. 47 mins: JP Pietersen try, 22-6; H Pollard con, 24-6; 58 mins: S Burger try, 29-6; 70 mins: S Brits try, 34-6; 77 mins: JP Pietersen try, 39-6; 80 mins: B Habana try, 44-6; P Lambie con, 46-6.

SOUTH AFRICA: Willie le Roux; JP Pieterson, Jean De Villiers, Damian de Allende, Bryan Habana; Handre Pollard, Fourie du Preez; Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis; Eben Etzebeth, Victor Matfield; Francois Louw, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Jesse Kriel for D de Allende (48 mins), Frans Malherbe for J du Plessis (53 mins), Lodewyk De Jager for V Matfield (54 mins), Trevor Nyakane for T Mtawarira (61 mins), Schalk Brits for A Strauss, S Kolisi for S Burger (both 67 mins), Patrick Lambie for J De Villiers (71 mins), Ruan Pienaar for F du Preez (73 mins), Jean De Villiers for J Kriel (77 mins).

SAMOA: Tim Nanai-Williams; Ken Pisi, Paul Perez, Reynold Lee-Lo, Alesana Tuilagi; Michael Stanley, Kahn Fotuali’i; Sakaria Taulafo, Motu Matu’u, Census Johnston; Filo Paulo, Joe Tekori; TJ Ioane, Jack Lam, Ofisa Treviranus (capt).

Replacements: Faifili Levave for J Tekori (46 mins), Anthoyn Perenise for Cenus Johnston, Ole Avei for M Matu’u (both 51 mins), Tusi Pisi for M Stanley (53 mins), Vavae Tuilagi for O Treviranus (62 mins), Viliamu Afatia for S Taulafo (63 mins), George Pisi for A Tuilagi (65 mins).

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.