Rusty Boks see off Georgia, British & Irish Lions see of local Lions and Kiwis hit three figures in disgraceful Auckland Test. Shaun Goosen looks back on this weekend's rugby action.
Rusty Boks see off spirited Georgia
The Springboks beat Georgia 40-9 at Emirates Airlines Park on Friday in their first match since the World Cup final. While Siya Kolisi’s men certainly looked rusty, the 80-minutes were much-needed as they continue preparations for the first British & Irish Lions Test on 24 July. The likes of Pieter-Steph du Toit, Franco Mostert, Aphelele Fassi and Willie le Roux were very good, while Damian Willemse’s cameo at inside centre was another highlight. They will take on the Georgians in the second Test this weekend.
Unfortunately though, Jacques Nienaber is still waiting to hear the extent of the rib injury sustained by Eben Etzebeth which forced the big lock off early. With RG Snyman unlikely to be ready in time to face the Lions either, and doubts still surrounding Lood de Jager, the Boks may be sweating on the current status of their second row stocks.
British & Irish Lions thump local Lions
The British & Irish Lions got their tour underway with an emphatic 56-14 win over the Sigma Lions at Emirates Airlines Park on Saturday. Winger Josh Adams bagged four scores while Player of the Match Hamish Watson was a colossus as Warren Gatland’s men ran rampant in Jozi, scoring eight tries in total. The Sigma Lions’ Vincent Tshituka was undoubtedly their star player, scoring a try and causing the tourists all kinds of trouble. He can certainly be proud of his display on the day.
Having now likely acclimatised to the Gauteng altitude, the British & Irish Lions will be even more dangerous when they take on Sean Everitt’s Sharks on Wednesday. While the Durbanites have named a strong team, whether they will have the capability to hold out the might of Zander Fagerson, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Mako Vunipola at scrum time remains to be seen.
Kiwis hit three-figures in disgraceful Auckland Test
New Zealand scored 16-tries in a 102-0 battering of Tonga at Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday. Will Jordan touched down five times alone as Ian Foster’s side got their 2021 season underway. The Tongan team was mainly comprised of club players, with as many as 13 earning their international debuts on the day. All Black skipper Sam Whitelock had more international caps than the entire Tongan matchday squad combined.
Why the match went ahead at all is unfathomable. It would barely have worked in the Kiwi’s favour and the entire fiasco has ended up highly degrading the Tonga national team, who clearly were not well enough equipped to compete on the day.