British Army 53 – South Africa 17
After a squeaky performance against the French the Army were out to prove their pedigree against a strong South African side with large forwards and lightening backs.
Selecting a side restructured via a few injuries Andy Sanger took the opportunity to field a number of ‘futures’. Many had shown up well against Canada and needed blooding at the feet of a Springbok style pack who were only too keen to help any malingering opposition on their way.
The Army opened in an expansive fashion. Pressure at the breakdown was rewarded by a penalty and 3 pts for Owain Davies.
Rhythm and tempo saw the ball with Junior Bulumakau who cut off his wing into the centre of the park and to the line. Scott Watkins held his hand up under the nose of Andy Sanger to indicate he was ready for the big boys. A graunching 40m sprint to the corner was followed by a Mattie Dwyer touchline conversion still rising through the posts.
The Army was flowing well and although the South Africans reduced the deficit by 3 points Mattie Dwyer and Paul Llewellyn crossed to make the half time score 25pts—3.
The game was marred when a large and influential South African forward was red carded There was a danger that a somewhat one-sided match would become too lopsided but the Army kicked-on with further tries from Bulumakau, Lock Will Jones , prop Warren Ross-Allen and Noxy Laqekero.
Whilst still in an expansive groove the Army left an otherwise secure defence with the door open for South Africa to score two well worked tries. Now kicking tactically for position the Green and Gold rang the changes from the bench introducing Quintin Prinsloo at scrum half. As often happens the side in the corner took a few risks, stepped up a couple of gears and started to run. They were dangerous and capable of launching a point-grabbing attack from almost any area on the park.
Order was restored after the Army scrum sequentially demolished the opposition at the set piece, irrespective of put-in. Result over.
Given the circumstances a 54pts-17 win was a more than satisfactory result at the quarter final stage. The Army now go through to the Harlequins Stoop to face New Zealand or the recently titled Defence Blacks. We know that is going to be a tough call.