South Africa 66-7 Canada
This wasn’t pretty for Canada as they made their final appearance of a disappointing World Cup campaign. South Africa had secured a bonus point within 16 minutes, Cobus Reinach had scored the fastest-ever World Cup hat-trick within 20 minutes and Canada were reduced to 14 men with 60 minutes still remaining when Josh Larsen was sent off.
It was the 6th red card of the tournament, well ahead of the previous record of 4 in 1995 and 1999, and there are still 19 games to go.
The Canada did muster some fighting spirit in the second half, given that it was 47-0 at half-time, but for the most part they made the Springboks look very dangerous as they sliced through the red defence at will.
What has happened to Canada? They used to be more competitive than this.
What did you think of the Springboks? They look like real contenders to me, able to play at pace when required, or put up a brick wall in defence if necessary.
Day 17 Preview
There’s a big day coming up tomorrow with a triple-header in store, just like every Wednesday should be.
Argentina v USA
There isn’t much time for reflection on their disappointing World Cup campaign for Argentina, as they are pressed into action again for the final pool match against the USA. I wonder how motivated they’ll be for this one, and I can see it being quite tight, given that the USA have been quite stubborn so far, particularly against the France. The USA might well fancy a win here, with a week’s recovery since their last match, but the smart money is still on the Pumas.
Argentina by 13
Scotland v Russia
To qualify for the quarter-finals, Scotland know they have to score 4 tries in the process of beating Russia and then overcome Japan on Sunday by more than 7 points. The first big should be straightforward enough, and it’s a chance for several second-string players to press their claims for selection in that key fixture at the weekend. The Russians have been better value than I expected so far, but this should be a comfortable Scotland victory.
Scotland by 33
Wales v Fiji
The Welsh are not taking anything for granted here, rolling out their first-choice side knowing that a victory will see them win the group, delivering a kinder potential route to the final. Fiji bounced back from that shock defeat to Uruguay by thrashing Georgia, displaying a few glimpses of flair, but Wales’ defence is likely to keep them at bay and I’d expect a relatively comfortable victory.
Wales by 26