Monty inspires Boks to victory over Samoa

Veteran South Africa full-back Percy Montgomery made up for missing the 2003 World Cup through suspension as he inspired his side to a 59-7 victory over a valiant Samoa here on Sunday in their World Cup clash at the Parc des Princes as he scored 29 points.

The dashing 33-year-old man of the match—who received a two year ban in 2003 for abusing a touch judge—scored two tries amongst his points while star wing Bryan Habana grabbed four and Jaque Fourie and JP Pietersen one apiece.

It was an commanding way to warm-up for Friday’s match against reigning champions England, unimpressive in a 28-10 victory against the United States.

Samoa’s highlight came with a first-half try from Gavin Williams and the appearance in a record fifth World Cup for Brian Lima, on as a replacement.

Sadly that lasted all of four minutes as he exited due to a typical no-holds barred tackle.

The Springboks, 1995 world champions on home soil, saw Montgomery kick two early penalties, reward for the team’s early pressure which led to Samoa errors in defence.

But in the midst of a bruising encounter between two teams renowned for their physicality, referee Paul Honiss brought the two captains together to tell them to calm things down.

But soon afterwards South African back-row forward Schalk Burger went dangerously high on Samoa scrum-half Junior Poluleuligaga as they contested the ball and and was extremely fortunate to stay on the pitch.

Montgomery was merciless with the boot and landed a huge penalty from just inside the Samoan half to make it 9-0.

The Samoans did get some reward for their tireless efforts as a brilliant short pass by Jerry Meafou released Williams, who broke the Springbok line to touch down.

Williams converted his own try to make it 9-7.

Habana though was in shortly before halftime, cutting in from the left wing on a mazy run to outwit the Samoan defence.

And any thoughts of an upset disappeared on the stroke of the break as a swift Springbok passing move saw Montgomery go over in the corner and then land the conversion.

The result was put beyond doubt in the 47th minute, after Samoa had a try disallowed for offside, when Fourie ran the ball in with Montgomery converting.

Montgomery, Habana, Pietersen then all crossed late in the match as the Springboks finished in dominating style. - AFP

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