Baby Boks smash Samoa

The Baby Boks got their U19 World Championship campaign back on track with a 44-0 thrashing of Samoa on Sunday, after leading 34-0 at half-time.

South Africa opened with a series of attacks that saw them camped in the Samoan 22m area, but they spurned the easy kicks in pursuit of tries and a bonus point. Only heroic tackling kept the Boks at bay, until hooker Divan Kapp went over on the 10-minute mark.

Kapp’s try was converted by flyhalf Francois Steyn, and five minutes after the restart fullback Hayden Groepes crossed in the left corner to stretch the lead.

Steyn missed the conversion, but a brace of tries from left winger Morne Jooste and another from flanker Lubabalo Gwavu clinched the bonus point and put the South Africans out of reach.

Steyn added the extras and a drop goal of his own and at half-time the game was virtually over as a contest, with South Africa 34-0 ahead.

The second half was expected to produce more of the same, but it took 19 minutes for the scoreboard to change as the Samoans stubbornly resisted everything that was thrown at them and began to mount a few attacks of their own.

Another drop goal from Steyn stretched the lead to 37-0 and the scoreboard was to stay that way until stoppage time when prop Josephus Ooosthuizen crossed the line after a series of South African scrums and tap-penalties inside the 5m area. Steyn converted with the last kick of the game.

“We came away with the win and that’s what we set out to do,” said SA coach Eugene Eloff. “We’ve got our rhythm back, but there’s still work to do.”

Other Division A results:

- France beat Ireland 26-18 for their second successive win. Although France were thoroughly tested by Ireland, Les Bleus withstood a real battering to underline their title credentials in some style and also deny their opponents a deserved bonus point with a converted try deep into injury time.

- Australia continued their devastating form with a runaway 88-9 victory over Romania at the Dubai Exiles Rugby Club. Up 45-6 at the break, there was little the Romanians could do to stop Australia, who powered ahead with seven unaccounted tries in the second half.

- England beat Argentina 28-23 after leading 21-13 at half-time. A late drop goal by centre Gabriel Ascarate made for a nervous last few minutes, but England held on for the win.

- Two tries in the first six minutes propelled Wales to a comfortable 35-5 win over Six Nations rivals Scotland.

Division B results:

- Tomasi Mawi claimed a second-half hat-trick in just eight minutes as Fiji romped to a 48-3 win over the USA to record the Pacific islanders’ second win in a row at the World Championship.

- Tonga also made it two out of two with a 29-14 win over Canada in a game that was closer than the final scoreline suggests. Interception tries in each half, from wingers Michael Uhatahi and Viliami Hakalo boosted the South Pacific nation.

- Top seeds Georgia were made to battle by Namibia in Sharjah before winning 14-6 while Uruguay overcame Russia 21-3 at the same venue.

- Italy rallied from losing their opening game to Fiji by demolishing Chinese Taipei 107-0 in Sharjah

- Chile defeated Korea 33-10 in Dubai.