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Habana grabs brace in Springboks success

Bryan Habana registered his 50th Test try as South Africa beat Samoa 56-23 to win the Castle Lager Incoming Series in Pretoria.

Habana moved to joint fifth in the Test try-scorers standings with two here as the Springboks went over eight times with Francois Louw (two), JJ Engelbrecht, Bjorn Basson, Morne Steyn and Trevor Nyakane all grabbing trys.

Teofilo Paulo and Junior Poluleuligaga crossed for Samoa but the Springboks were irresistible, their pace and power constantly tying Samoa in knots.

Steyn put South Africa in front with a penalty after three minutes before two James So'oialo efforts put Samoa 6-3 ahead, but it was merely a prelude to a relentless Springboks attack. The Springboks lineout swung the ball wide to Willie le Roux who drew the defence and passed to Habana to go over for his 49th Test try, Steyn adding the conversion.

Samoa were powerless to prevent a second South Africa try when a driving maul ended with Louw grounding the ball, Steyn again converting.

Steyn then traded penalties with So'oialo before South Africa drew further ahead when the back line moved the ball wide quickly to find Engelbrecht, who sold a dummy and burst between two defenders and rounded another to go over in the corner.

Steyn failed to convert but the hosts drew further ahead when Le Roux drew the Samoa defence and passed to the overlapping Basson who went over, the South Africa fly-half successful this time as South Africa reached half-time 32-9 ahead. Samoa responded well at the start of the second half with Paulo going over and So'oialo converting to narrow the score to 32-16.

They continued to fire but found themselves a man down when Alesana Tuilagi was sent off for a high, straight-armed challenge on Jean de Villiers and moments later South Africa had another try, Habana the recipient of some quick play from the maul to go over in the corner for his 50th Test try, Steyn failing with the conversion.

Steyn, though, made amends when he took the ball from Le Roux, sold a dummy and went between two defenders and over before missing the conversion and going off. Habana was then sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on and the following lineout found the Boks sleeping with Poluleuligaga collecting and charging over, Paul Williams converting.

Louw got his second as he managed to ground the ball despite close Samoa attention before Nyakane powered over with Patrick Lambie converting both.


From Belfast Telegraph