The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium is a very nice stadium to visit. This was my first visit to this ground and it was a pleasant experience not just because I was impressed by the stadium, the Springboks were pretty good too.
64-0 is a pretty emphatic victory and Bryan Habana scored a hat-trick of tries. He has now scored 15 world cup tries which equals Jonah Lomu’s record and he has now scored 64 tries in Tests equalling David Campese’s record.
From my point of view in the stands the Springboks really enjoyed themselves in this Test. South Africa scored some excellent tries and impressively the Americans never scored a point.
The first half was a scrappy affair and South Africa never looked all that good besides from having decimated the American scrum. The second half saw the Springboks score a lot of tries. I particularly liked Bryan Habana’s second try where South Africa played a set move off a lineout where Damien de Allende runs in on the angle and makes the break with one defender to beat, while Bryan Habana came off his wing ready for the switch pass and running in for the try untouched. Jesse Kriel scored a good try again picking a line on the angle and then arcing back in the direction he came in on.
South Africa seem to be developing an understanding of running angles and another pleasing thing to see was the off-loads. In the first half Schalk Burger ran the ball up to the defence and then gave a short pass to Frans Malherbe, who took a tackle and then off-loaded to Tendai Mtawarira, who also took a tackle and off-loaded to Handre Pollard who came in at speed and made a huge bust down the right-hand side of the pitch.
I am still not convinced. Apart from a few instances where I feel South Africa are developing their game it still is predominantly a case of outmuscling the opposition.
It’s a bit ironic that Heyneke Meyer spoke so much about experience when choosing his 31 man squad yet it has been the youngsters that have been impressing for South Africa. Lood de Jager again had an excellent match and the combination of Damien de Allende and Jesse Kriel is working so well. Many South Africans that I was chatting with all seemed to say the same thing. De Allende and Kriel are the future.
It was a big win but it was a Test against largely the U.S.A’s second choice players. The U.S.A are targetting their Test against Japan to try and get one win in the 2015 RWC. From a South African point of view it was job done.