Boks grind out victory in World Cup opener

todaySeptember 11, 2023 42

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Defending champions South Africa got their Rugby World Cup 2023 campaign off to a winning start by beating Scotland 18-3 at Stade de Marseille on Sunday.

The teams went into the break with the Springboks only 6-3 ahead after two Mannie Libbok penalties and one from Scotland fly-half Finn Russell.

However, in the second half the pace and power of the Springboks’ game told as first Pieter-Steph du Toit muscled his way over from close range, before Kurt-Lee Arendse got on the end of Libbok’s pinpoint cross-field kick to dot down in the corner.

“Obviously I saw the space out wide and knew what I wanted to do, and managed to get it there,” Libbok, the Mastercard Player of the Match, said. “I practice that stuff a lot, so it was good that it came off.”

“I am just stoked the first game went like it did.”

Head coach, Jacques Nienaber, said the game was closer than the scoreline suggested.

“We were only leading 6-3 at half-time after having some dominance. Scotland are a nuggety team and hats off to them. We had to grind the win out.”

South Africa finish the weekend second in Pool B, behind leaders Ireland who beat Romania on Saturday while Scotland head into their bye week with work to do.

The Boks will play Romania next on Sunday. Article by Ntsako Mkhari

Written by: Lindiwe Mabena

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