Home Sport Rugby Hat trick for Mapimpi as Boks save face

Hat trick for Mapimpi as Boks save face

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Wings Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe scored five out of the six tries as the Bokke ran out comfortable 41-7 winners over Japan.

Makazole Mapimpi scored a hat trick for the Springboks against Japan on Friday. Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets

Wings Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe scored five out of
the six tries as the Springboks prepared for the Rugby World Cup with a
comfortable 41-7 victory over Japan
in Saitama on Friday.

Mapimpi grabbed a hat trick and Kolbe got a brace as Rassie
Erasmus’ team rumbled their way past an outclassed Japanese outfit in what was
sweet revenge for the shock 2015 World Cup defeat in Brighton

The South African forwards had too much firepower for the
hosts, as they dominated the lineouts and had the advantage in the scrums to
set the tone for the win.

The Boks took just eight minutes to get the scoreboard
rolling, when Kolbe dotted down for the first of his two tries on the night
following strong runs by Lukhanyo Am and Willie le Roux.

That came
after a strong start by the visitors, with the likes of Eben Etzebeth putting
the Japanese lineout under heavy pressure in the opening stages.

The home
side tried to stretch the Bok defence out wide, but their handling let them
down in the hot and humid conditions.

Siya
Kolisi’s team were measured in their approach, obviously with an eye on the
World Cup, as they didn’t want to reveal too much ahead of the tournament
opener against the All Blacks in Yokohama
on 21 September.

But they
did enough to prove that they have most of their plans sorted. The front row of
Steven Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Frans Malherbe provided front-foot ball,
while the loose forwards did well to get across the ground to shut down the
Japanese attacks.

There were
some unnecessary box-kicks from Faf de Klerk that didn’t work out, but that was
part of the overall style that the Boks are likely to employ against New Zealand in
two weeks’ time.

Fullback
Willie le Roux also displayed a welcome hunger to perform with a busy
performance, and he pounced brilliantly on a high ball to put Mapimpi away for
his first try after the 20-minute mark.

A massive
scrum after a half-an-hour set up Mapimpi for his second, and a Handre Pollard
penalty put the Boks 22-0 up at halftime, and ended the match as a contest.

Jamie
Joseph’s Japan
came back with greater fighting spirit in the second half, and were camped
inside the Bok 22 for a good few minutes.

But they
were repelled by a determined South African defence, and eventually captain
Kolisi won the breakdown penalty.

Pieter-Steph du Toit helps Damian de Allende to drill Ataata Moeakiola backwards. Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets
Pieter-Steph du Toit helps Damian de Allende to drill Ataata Moeakiola backwards. Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets

The try of
the night came after Le Roux went up for another high kick from Pollard, where
Kolbe swung the loose ball to the openside, with Pieter-Steph du Toit showing
good temperament to draw the last defender before putting Mapimpi away for his
hat trick.

The Boks
lost their momentum with the introduction of their replacements, and Erasmus
will be concerned about Trevor Nyakane, who left the field with an injury.

Kotaro
Matsushima claimed a consolation try for Japan, but Herschel Jantjies
rounded things off with an intercept five-pointer to put the smiles back on the
Bok faces.

The Bok
coach will be delighted that his team managed to close out Japan,
especially after what happened at the 2015 World Cup, but there were also
enough areas that need attention for the players to maintain their sharpness
before the All Black showdown.

Points-Scorers

Japan 7 – Try: Kotaro Matsushima. Conversion: Yu Tamura (1)

Springboks 41 – Tries: Cheslin Kolbe (2), Makazole Mapimpi (3), Herschel Jantjies. Conversions: Handre Pollard (2), Frans Steyn (2). Penalty: Pollard (1).

@ashfakmohamed

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