Rugby World Cup diary: Springboks score a perfect ten to secure quarter-final spot
England No.8 Billy Vunipola is a major doubt for the match against France
Rugby World Cup pool B South Africa 66 Canada 7
South Africa are through to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after scoring ten tries in the 66-7 hammering of Canada in Kobe.
After Damian de Allende and S’Busiso Nkosi touched down for the Springboks in the opening five minutes, scrum-half Cobus Reinach then scored the fastest hat-trick in World Cup history with tries on nine, 17 and 20 minutes.
Warrick Gelant, Frans Steyn, Schalk Brits, Damian Willemse and Frans Malherbe were also on the scoresheet while Elton Jantjies kicked eight conversions.
Canada were reduced to 14 men in the first half after Josh Larsen was sent off for a dangerous tackle, but they got themselves on the scoreboard with a try from Matt Heaton which was converted by Peter Nelson.
On reaching the last eight South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus said: “The big thing is we have to see who we are going to play - we’ll give the guys two days off and on Friday get back on the horse again.
“We have a good chance like everyone else but there are so many good teams in this tournament. Japan are a class act, Ireland and Scotland class acts. Some tough opposition in the next few weeks.”
Billy Vunipola a doubt for French clash
England No.8 Billy Vunipola remains a serious injury doubt for the final pool C clash against France on 12 October.
The 26-year-old was taken off with an ankle issue at half-time in the win against Argentina and has been wearing a surgical boot.
“He’s been in and out of the boot,” said attack coach Scott Wisemantel. “We rested him today [Tuesday] at training - at this stage he’s available for selection, but if there’s any doubt then we’ll rest him.
“We’ll make a call on Wednesday night on whether he’s fit to play or not.”
Scotland and Wales in action
The first match on Wednesday will see Argentina play the United States in pool C in Kumagaya (5.45am BST). UK home nations Scotland and Wales are also in action.
Scotland have made 14 changes for their clash against Russia (8.15am). Head coach Gregor Townsend has shuffled his selection and only retains winger Darcy Graham from the starting XV that beat Samoa.
Townsend makes his changes with one eye on a potential winner-takes-all meeting with pool A leaders Japan on Sunday, the BBC reports.
If Scotland are to progress from pool A they must beat Russia with a bonus point and also defeat Japan, while ensuring their opponents don’t collect a bonus point.
Wales play Fiji on Wednesday knowing that victory will ensure their passage to the last eight. The Pacific Islanders famously beat the Welsh 12 years ago but it would still be a major surprise if they lost this time around given their form this year.
The pool D clash between Wales and Fiji takes place in Oita (10.45am).
Remaining RWC pool fixtures
Pool fixtures conclude on 13 October and the quarter-finals will be held on 19-20 October. All times below are UK.
- Wednesday 9 October: Scotland vs. Russia (8.15am; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka; ITV)
- Saturday 12 October: Ireland vs. Samoa (11.45am; Hakatanomori Football Stadium, Fukuoka; ITV)
- Sunday 13 October: Japan vs. Scotland (11.45am; International Stadium, Yokohama; ITV)
- Saturday 12 October: New Zealand vs. Italy (5.45am; City of Toyota Stadium, Aichi; ITV)
- Sunday 13 October: Namibia vs. Canada (4.15am; Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Kamaishi; ITV)
- Wednesday 9 October: Argentina vs. USA (5.45am; Prefectual Kumagaya Rugby Grounds, Kumagaya; ITV 4)
- Saturday 12 October: England vs. France (9.15am; International Stadium, Yokohama; ITV)
- Sunday 13 October: USA vs. Tonga (6.45am; Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka; ITV)
- Wednesday 9 October: Wales vs. Fiji (10.45am; Oita Stadium, Oita; ITV)
- Friday 11 October: Australia vs. Georgia (11.15am; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Shizuoka; ITV 4)
- Sunday 13 October: Wales vs. Uruguay (9.15am; Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, Kumamoto; ITV)