Sorry start for the Bok dirt-trackers
PETER DE VILLIERS suffered his most humiliating defeat as Springbok coach as English champions Leicester crushed his team in a stunning reverse in the English Midlands here last night.
It wasn’t just that the South Africans made such a disastrous start to their end of year northern hemisphere tour. Instead, it was the way in which De Villiers’ team capitulated. The representatives of the world champions found themselves badly beaten physically by Leicester’s seriously understrength but feisty team. The greatest humiliation came in the set scrums where the tourists were overwhelmed.
Their puny scrum was smashed time and again, a crass embarrassment.
The tourists, who lost captain for the night Chilliboy Ralepelle after only 20 minutes with a recurrence of a foot injury, looked bewildered by the ferocity of the Leicester play. Ruan Pienaar set up a nervejangling finish with two late penalties. But it was not enough. There was a rusty look to the South Africans’ game all evening.
Andries Bekker looked hungry for work, not least in the line-out where he was a massive presence, but the forwards struggled to show the authority expected.
Three judicious kicks in the first eight minutes gave the Boks the ideal launch pad.
The first was a regulation penalty from the 22 by Ruan Pienaar but the next two opened up the inexperienced Leicester defence. Earl Rose put up a bomb which caused chaos and when South Africa quickly won the loose ball, Rose was up in the line to slide a pinpoint low kick across to Jongi Nokwe who scored with ease.
Leicester gave the visitors a lively workout, scoring a brilliant 27th minute try, from a stunning counter attack. Argentine wing Lucas Amorosino had much to do but some stunning side-steps at pace got him home under the posts. Ben Youngs converted to edge Leicester ahead and then landed two more penalties before half-time to increase the lead, one after Gurthro Steenkamp was destroyed at a set scrum by Leicester’s Italian tight head Martin Castrogiovanni.