Compared to that which played against Wales, it was a different Springbok side which turned out against Fiji today, the world champions seemed to have transformed to their old efficient selves in a space of just six days. From the kick off they showed their intent and it was a power struggle for the first quarter of the match with penalties going to either side until JP Pietersen produced a run from deep inside his half which sparked a movement that eventually put Guthro Steenkamp over the line.
From then on the Springboks took ascendency over their south Pacific Islander opponents although points were scarce as the Fijian defence remained resolute. This however didn't put to end the constant battering as the world champions grew in confidence and their lust for the try line urged them on. The Springbok tactic of putting ball to boot and then sending chasers to put the opposing fielder under pressure payed off when Fijian back Vereniki Goneva dropped an up and under which Jannie du Plessis was happy to lap up and make a 25 meter dash. The ball was quickly recycled and it eventually found its way to Jacque Fourie who found his way over the line for the second springbok try of the match.
At this time the score was beginning to show the Springbok dominance, but then the men in green and gold had to go one better and score a penalty to make the half time score 21-3.
Returning from the breaks, the Springboks didn't seem to have taken the foot off the paddle as their attack continued to dominate the rebellious and stingy Fijian side's defence. On a day where the whole team played well together, it was the loose trio whose performance stood out. Pierre Spies made some runs that proved his critics wrong while his six and seven were marauding the park trying to get their hands on just about every dirty job that was available.
But the performance of the match didn't go to a loose forward on the day, although the man is capable of playing in the back row, Dannie Rossouw's man of the match performance had to be more than outstanding to stand out from the rest of his fellow forwards. Two of the Springboks' six tries were scored by forwards who popped up at the right place at just the right time. So it should not be a surprise then that the Springboks could only ever go forward on the day.
Morne Steyn's second half performance was reminiscent of his earlier days in a green Jersey, he showed a keenness to attack the line, and move away from the reliable passing and kicking game that he's been known, one of his runs led to the second try by a front row forward on the day when the movement ended with Tendai Mtawarira forcing his way over the line and then later on Dannie Rossouw made his way over the line from a play that began with his running at the line.
A much improved performance from the World champions, they played most of the football, were disciplined in defence and clinical in finish. They scored six tries against Fiji and gave non to them.
Tries: Guthro Steenkamp, Jacque Fourie, Frans Steyn, Morne Steyn, Tendai Mtawarira, Daniel Rossouw
Conversions Morne Steyn(5)
Penalties: Frans Steyn(2)
Penalties: Seremaia Bai