What was expected to be a landslide victory over a hapless Italian team, became a sloppy and uninspiring performance by the Springboks, beating the Italians 29 – 13.
Italy outscored the Boks in the second half, scoring 10 points to our 7, and looked very good towards to the end and were unlucky not to score on fulltime.
After a nervous start to the game, Italy drew first blood on 10 minutes by scoring a penalty. Steyn replied almost instantaneously to level the scores. The most disturbing part was that the Italians enjoyed 73% of the possession in the first 12 minutes. They were all over us and camped in our quarter.
5 minutes later, a well put together backline move put Habana in for our first try, with Zane grubbering through and Habana collecting to canter over. It took the Boks another 12 miutes to score again, with Francois Louw scoring his second try in 2 games. A good build up from a maul into the Azzuri 22m, Flo broke off and scored in the corner. Steyn missed the conversion from the sideline, 15 – 3 to the Boks after half an hour.
Morne Steyn scored and converted just before half time after some loose play, where Steyn stepped like he does, and fell over the tryline. 22 – 3 at half time. That was the end of the fun, as the Boks didn’t ever look to hit 5th gear after half time.
Kirchner did score 10 minutes into the half, a decent backline movement created space for him out wide. Steyn converted to make it 29 – 3, and that was it from the Boks, as sloppy, uncoordinated play followed what should have been an easy finish to the game.
The last half hour was paining to watch as all the replacements came onto the field, creating a disjointed performance which is very worrying one month from the Tri-Nations. Butch was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle, and came back onto the field with 20 minutes to go and slipped into the flyhalf role. He was far from convincing.
Italy scored a good try and a penalty to push their score to 13, really making the Boks look bad in the last half hour. Man of the match was the Italian captain Sergio Parisse.Tweet