It was a painful evening for Canada as the Springboks ran riot in Kobe

2019 Rugby World Cup: South Africa 66-7 Canada

Head-to-head

Played – 3

South Africa wins – 3

Canada wins – 0

Did You Know?

  • South Africa secured the fastest four-try bonus point at RWC 2019 so far, doing so inside 18 minutes against Canada.
  • Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in World Cup history, crossing three times in the first quarter.
  • DTH van der Merwe reached 15 World Cup appearances to set a new Canada record, overtaking Rod Snow and Jamie Cudmore.

Related: Rugby World Cup Fixtures

2019 Rugby World Cup: South Africa v Canada

Early doors: Damian De Allende scores in the second minute against Canada (Getty Images)

In A Nutshell

Carnage. This match needs only a one-word summary. Forget Tier One and Tier Two, this was more like a game played between teams from different stratospheres such was the gulf in class between South Africa and Canada in the first half.

Yes, Canada rallied in the second half to stem the flow, but the game was already lost by that point.

Inside the first quarter, the Springboks wrapped up the bonus point and Cobus Reinach scored a hat-trick as they started at a ferocious pace. It was almost as if the Boks had entered the 100m sprint while the Canadians had pitched up thinking it was the marathon.

It was bad enough that they had conceded six tries in half an hour – their defence extremely poor at times – but just as Canada had their first sniff of a try and built pressure of their own in the opposition 22, Josh Larsen steamed into a ruck to clear out Thomas du Toit.

2019 Rugby World Cup: South Africa v Canada

Seeing red: Josh Larsen was sent off shortly before half-time (Getty Images)

Not only did he illegally enter from the side but he connected with the neck of the Bok prop. A red card and Canada were down to 14 men for the rest of the game.

The Boks started at warp speed to score within two minutes, Damian De Allende going over after a strong carry from RG Snyman. Soon after Kwagga Smith put S’busiso Nkosi over in the corner with a neat offload.

Then came Reinach’s hat-trick. He scored three tries in ten minutes and the first was the pick of the bunch…

Warrick Gelant got the sixth when beating three defenders in a tight space to score in the corner.

Then finally Canada made a break. Phil Mack started things off in his own 22 before Evan Olmstead released Jeff Hassler and the wing broke into the South Africa half. The Boks conceded a penalty, Canada kicked for the corner and got close to the line before Larsen’s shoulder stepped in to abruptly end that momentum.

The final play of the half probably summed up the evening for Canada, Frans Steyn picking off Mack’s pass from a quick tap near the line and scoring probably the simplest try of his career. It was 47-0 at the break and the omens looked ominous for Canada.

There was a renewed vigour to the team in red at the start of the second period, a desire to salvage a semblance of pride. In fact, you could say they played better with 14 men – and they did get an early try. Hassler cut a nice line following a lineout maul and Matt Heaton then finished things off from close range.

Fancy dress: Fans enjoy the action in Kobe (Getty Images)

Back the Boks came, though. Schalk Brits battling his way over from a couple of metres out despite the attentions of a handful of defenders – not bad for a 38-year-old – and Damian Willemse finishing off a sweeping backs move that left Canada short of defenders.

Frans Malherbe took the try count into double figures with a close-range finish after Siya Kolisi had made ground down the left.

Canada will no doubt try to build on the positives from an improved second-half performance that prevented the Boks from taking this scoreline to three figures, which at one point looked possible. However, with a short turnaround before their final game against Namibia on Sunday, the African side will fancy their chances of picking up a first World Cup win.

Star Man

Damian Willemse showed some lovely touches at full-back and Cobus Reinach certainly took his chance in the No 9 shirt, scoring three tries in ten minutes and bringing pace and energy to the Springboks attack. Yet RG Snyman was the one who stood out for us – and not just because he’s probably a good head taller than everyone else on the pitch.

As well as all his work in the tight – especially at the lineout – the second-row made huge gains with ball in hand, breaking the Canadian defensive line with ease and playing a big role in the build-up to the first-half tries for Damian De Allende and Reinach’s second.

Related: Rugby World Cup TV Coverage

The Reaction

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus: “In the first half we were clinical and decisive, especially with a bunch of guys who haven’t played a lot in the last four or five weeks. We conceded only one penalty in the first half, but the second half started badly with five penalties in five minutes. So it was a solid performance, especially in the first half.”

Canada coach Kingsley Jones: “The way the Springboks started took us by surprise. Their pace and physicality we couldn’t deal with. There was a lot of thinking in the sheds at half-time. There wasn’t a lot we could do about the first 40 minutes. The only thing we could change was the second 40 minutes and I thought the boys fought admirably with 14 players.”

The Teams

South Africa: Damian Willemse; Warrick Gelant, Damian De Allende (Handre Pollard 62), Frans Steyn, S’busiso Nkosi; Elton Jantjies, Cobus Reinach (Herschel Jantjies 52); Thomas du Toit (Steven Kitshoff 54), Schalk Brits (Malcolm Marx 58), Vincent Koch (Frans Malherbe 54), RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (captain), Kwagga Smith, Francois Louw.

Tries: De Allende 2, Nkosi 6, Reinach 10, 18, 20, Gelant 28, Steyn 40, Brits 55, Willemse 66, Malherbe 73. Cons: Jantjies 8.

Canada: Andrew Coe; Jeff Hassler, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn (Guiseppe du Toit 75), DTH Van Der Merwe; Peter Nelson (Shane O’Leary 63), Phil Mack (Jamie Mackenzie 56); Hubert Buydens (Djustice Sears-Duru h-t), Andrew Quattrin (Benoit Piffero 56), Jake Ilnicki (Matt Tierney h-t), Evan Olmstead, Kyle Baillie (Josh Larsen 13), Lucas Rumball, Matt Heaton, Tyler Ardron (captain, Michael Sheppard 56-75).

Try: Heaton 47. Con: Nelson.

Red card: Larsen 36min.

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