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JP Pietersen stars as South Africa rebound from Japan loss by beating Samoa

Published 26/09/2015

South Africa's wing Bryan Habana runs to convert his team's final try, and his 12th World Cup try, during the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park in Birmingham. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE
South Africa's wing Bryan Habana runs to convert his team's final try, and his 12th World Cup try, during the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park in Birmingham. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE
Samoa's Tusi Pisi dives in to score past South Africa's Willie Le Roux before his try is disallowed during the Rugby World Cup match at Villa Park, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo
South Africa's flanker Schalk Burger celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
A South Africa fan flies the flag during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
South Africa's lock Eben Etzebeth vies against the Samoa defence during the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Samoa's fly half Michael Stanley tackles South Africa's lock Victor Matfield during the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Victor Matfield of South Africa catches a lineout ball during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match against Samoa at Villa Park on September 26, 2015 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
South Africa's centre and captain Jean de Villiers jumps to score his team's second try during the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU
South Africa's flanker Schalk Burger (C) jumps to catch the ball during the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park.
South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer during the Rugby World Cup match at Villa Park, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. i
Samoa's scrum half Kahn Fotuali'i holds the ball during a scrum during the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park.
South Africa's wing JP Pietersen (R) runs to score the team's first try during the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Samoa's scrum half Kahn Fotuali'i passes the ball during the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Samoa's fly half Michael Stanley takes a penalty kick during the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE
JP Pietersen of South Africa celebrates scoring the opening try during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Alesana Tuilagi of Samoa is held up by the South Africa defence during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Members of the Samoa team perfom the haka ahead of the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
South Africa's prop Trevor Nyakane stands with South Africa team mates as they watch the Samoa team perform the Haka ahead of the Pool B match of the Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Samoa rugby fans wait for the start of the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
A rugby fan waves a South Africa flag ahead of the Pool B match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS
Alesana Tuilagi of Samoa is held up by the South Africa defence during the Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
A South Africa fan walks outside the ground prior to the Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park. Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
A South Africa fan enjoys the atmosphere prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between South Africa and Samoa at Villa Park Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

JP Pietersen scored a hat-trick of tries as South Africa bounced back from their shock loss to Japan with a 46-6 six-try, bonus-point victory over Samoa at Villa Park.

The two-time World Cup winners learned lessons from the 34-32 Japan defeat in their opening Pool B match and overpowered Samoa in a hugely physical contest in Birmingham.

The Springboks were made to pay for spurning early shots at goal in their Brighton beating, but this time Handre Pollard took the points and Pietersen scored an opportunist try for a 17-6 half-time lead.

South Africa ruthlessly applied the pressure thereafter, with scrum-half Fourie du Preez outstanding in dictating the tempo.

Pietersen scored two more tries, Schalk Burger was rewarded for an impressive personal performance with a score, replacement hooker Schalk Brits touched down and Bryan Habana added a sixth.

Pollard finished with 14 points, while Michael Stanley's two penalties were all Samoa could muster in reply.

South Africa next play Scotland and the United States - sides who meet in Leeds on Sunday - and could yet top the pool and claim a more favourable quarter-final draw with two wins.

Samoa next play Japan, eager to respond from a defeat where their intent was stated from the start, with the physicality epitomised by flanker TJ Ioane's bone-crunching tackle on Springbok hooker Adriaan Strauss.

The Pacific Islanders were competitive at the breakdown and in the tackle, but were undone by their inability to relieve pressure, some indiscipline and Stanley's inaccuracy with the boot.

Pollard kicked a second-minute penalty and South Africa showed their forward supremacy from the restart, driving Samoa backwards.

Stanley kicked two penalties, but the fly-half's lofted pass was next anticipated by Pietersen, who plucked the ball from the air and raced 50 metres to score.

Pollard dragged the conversion wide, but kicked three more penalties to extend the Springboks' advantage to 11 points.

There was a minor flare up involving Alesana Tuilagi after Eben Etzebeth's fine defence, before the former Leicester winger was caught round the neck by Pietersen after chipping over his opposite number.

Pietersen avoided a yellow card, but Stanley was short and wide with the penalty attempt from his own half.

Willie le Roux, who had a first-half score ruled out for a foot in touch, fumbled forwards in collecting a kick in the opening seconds of the second half as South Africa resumed on the attack.

They did not have to wait long for Pietersen to claim another simple score as, after Samoa were squeezed back up front, the wing completed the overlap.

Stanley missed more two penalties, before being replaced by Tusi Pisi, but momentum was already with the Springboks.

Burger crashed through two tackles to score a third try. Pollard's conversion hit the post.

Cracks appeared in the Springboks defence, but they were reprieved when the Television Match Official spotted a forward pass from Tim Nanai-Williams to Kahn Fotuali'i, ruling out what would have been a fine score by Pisi.

Le Roux was again denied in the corner by Paul Perez's covering tackle as the Springboks chased a fourth try and with it a bonus point.

But replacement hooker Brits emerged with the ball after a rolling maul from a lineout as the Springboks claimed the score they were looking for.

Pietersen again touched down out wide and Habana raced around a tired Samoa defence late on.

Replacement Pat Lambie converted as the Springboks ensured their World Cup campaign was back on track, only marginally spoilt when a pitch invader in a South Africa jersey came on.

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