South Africa avenge last year’s defeat to Italy

Springboks power game proves too much for Conor O’Shea’s side to handle

South African prop Steven Kitshoff   is tackled by Italian flanker Giovanni Licata. Photograph: Getty Images

South African prop Steven Kitshoff is tackled by Italian flanker Giovanni Licata. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Italy 6 South Africa 35

South Africa beat in Padova on Saturday, scoring five converted tries to avenge their shock loss to the Azzurri last year.

South Africa, who have struggled this year against top-tier teams, offered a very different performance to last year’s shambolic effort, controlling the game and using their big forwards as battering rams on a wet and foggy afternoon.

The Springboks scored four tries through the forwards, overpowering the Italians in the ruck and maul with the first two going to flanker Francois Louw and hooker Bongi Mbonambi, who was making his first start.

Centre Francois Venter then scored out wide before half-time, cleaning up the ball from a kick to the corner.

In the second half, the visitors’ pack struck again, with replacement prop Steven Kitshoff touching down within minutes of the restart.

Replacement lock Franco Mostert crossed under the posts near the final whistle to seal the victory, with man-of-the-match Handre Pollard adding his fourth conversion.

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