Romania on the end of another rout as South Africa ease to 76-0 victory

South Africa scored 12 tries against Romania in Bordeaux
©Photo by Adam Pretty - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

For all the talk of plucky underdogs at this World Cup, and those who want to see the game grow and develop, South Africa's 76-0 mauling of Romania won't be the example to use.

The world champions were clinical in Bordeaux, wrapping up the bonus point inside just 12 minutes with Cobus Reinach (2), Makazole Mapimpi and Damian Willemse all going over.

Reinach then completed his hat-trick on 24 minutes - which proved to be the final try of the half - before Deon Fourie, Grant Williams (2), Mapimpi (2), Willie Le Roux and a penalty try put a hapless Romania to the sword.

Over the last few days, the performances of Uruguay, Chile and Portugal have showcased why tier-two nations need exposure to the top teams and while Romania will learn from their outings against Ireland and now South Africa, it is never easy to take positives from two heavy defeats.

As for South Africa, after overcoming Scotland last Sunday, this fixture for the Springboks allowed Jacques Nienaber to rotate and utilise his squad ahead of their mouth-watering Pool B clash with Ireland next Saturday.

With Malcolm Marx ruled out of the World Cup, South Africa used three players at hooker across the course of the afternoon with Mbongeni Mbonambi, Fourie and Marco van Staden all playing in that role whilst scrum-half Faf de Klerk came off the bench to operate at No.10.

"Obviously the big boys up front did most of the work for us so there was not a lot of pressure on myself," De Klerk said. "Normally when I move in game from nine to 10, it’s a bit different. I find myself running to the rucks. This week I have been training at 10 the whole time so it was pretty natural.

"We focused on that [the intensity] this weekend, we didn't want to make it an exhibition game or a Barbarians-style game, we just wanted to focus on our sequences and really work on that and make sure our forwards are focused on that. We're naturally a physical team so I'm very proud of the boys."

On Marx, head coach Nienaber confirmed the Boks would be choosing the hooker's official replacement on Sunday night, with Leicester Tigers fly-half Handre Pollard called up to the squad.

Tougher tests - such as Andy Farrell's Ireland - will come for South Africa but this wasn't a day where the Springboks were going to enjoy a relaxing Sunday stroll. 

After Romania full-back Marius Simionescu had seen his kick fly straight into touch, the Boks went on to win a penalty and opted for the first scrum of the match after just two minutes.

The outcome? Inevitable, as Reinach scooted over from the base of the scrum. Damian Willemse missed the conversion but was able to redeem himself minutes later as his pass was met by Le Roux who flicked it inside to Mapimpi to touch down.

Eight days earlier in Bordeaux, Romania had made a flying start against Ireland but there was no such repeat here. Reinach raced through for his second before Willemse profited from Duane Vermeulen's carry to step off his right foot and dart over for the bonus point.

Even the stadium announcer had a tinge of sympathy in his voice when confirming the score from the Stormers man.

A missed penalty from Tevita Manumua didn't lift the mood for Romania but they did have the backing of the Bordeaux crowd, with many willing them to try and find a foothold in the game.

Van Staden could have got a fifth for the Boks but it was chalked off by referee Mathieu Raynal for an illegal block. However, the reigning champions were able to add to their tally when Reinach sealed his hat-trick, the second quickest in World Cup history. He also holds the overall record after scoring three in 20 minutes against Canada four years ago.

The remainder of the half was then very stop-start as Romania stemmed the South African flow of tries, even going close themselves before being pinged by Raynal just short of the line.

One or two mistakes had just begun to creep into the Boks' game as the rain started to pour but with the skies clearing, South Africa recaptured their rhythm after the break.

Reinach was nearly over for his fourth before being pushed into touch but from the resulting line-out, Fourie - off the bench to replace Mbonambi who will now be recharging ahead of Ireland - dotted down just three minutes into the second period.

Romania were then able to muster up half an opportunity from a tidy line-out but were forced into another error. The ruthless Boks responded by going up the other end where they were awarded a penalty try following a period of pressure.

Score number eight was just around the corner as from the left of a scrum, a surging Williams brought up the half-century and he doubled his tally after latching on to a lovely weighted pass from replacement de Klerk.

All too easy.

The Spingboks' 10th was a thing of beauty. A couple of gorgeous passes from right to left involving de Klerk and Le Roux set Mapimpi away, with the tiring yellow shirts unable to stop the rampant reigning champions.

Player of the Match Mapimpi then completed his hat-trick before Le Roux weighed in with the final try - and his first-ever World Cup score - to complete the rout.

Andy Farrell's Ireland now lie in wait for the Springboks...

"It will be a good game to see who finishes one and two in the pool, but there's still games to play, so I don't want to get too far ahead," said Nienaber. "If it's Italy, if it's France, New Zealand, it's going to be a tough quarter-final, it doesn't matter who we play.

"From a selection point of view, we're open and honest with the players, they know what we're thinking and we'll share that with them even tonight. We have an idea in our minds what we want to do for the next game. It's nice that there's such good internal competition within this group and positive competition. There's not a big gap between the players."

As for Romania, they will have a bit more time to recover ahead of their next clash with Scotland on September 30th.

After facing the top two nations in the world and shipping over 150 points in the process, they will probably be glad of the break.