Cobus Reinach scores hat-trick as South Africa run riot against Romania

Cobus Reinach runs to score South Africa's third try
Cobus Reinach runs to score South Africa's third try - Getty Images/Christophe Archambault

Cobus Reinach and Makazole Mapimpi each grabbed a hat-trick of tries as South Africa crushed Romania 76-0 in their second Pool B game of the Rugby World Cup.

The world champions wasted no time clinching their bonus point scoring four ties inside the opening 12 minutes.

Scrum-half Reinach claimed an early double before wing Mapimpi, with his first, and Damian Willemse, also crossed.

Reinach sealed a deserved hat-trick off the back of a scrum and Willemse calmly converted as the Springboks carved out a 33-0 half-time lead.

South Africa started where they left off in the second half through hooker Deon Fourie who claimed their sixth try of the game in the 43rd minute.

Romania’s discipline began to waiver and after 54 minutes they gave away a penalty try.

Grant Williams weighed in with two tries before Mapimpi, a handful for the Romanian defence all game, completed his hat-trick with two further tries.

South Africa led 71-0 with 13 minutes remaining and Willie Le Roux got in on the act on 73 minutes with the Springboks’ final try of a comprehensive victory to add to their opening win over Scotland.

Ruthless Springboks crush Romania: as it happened

04:29 PM BST

'A lot of the things we wanted to get out of the game'

Spingboks coach, Jacques Nienaber:: “I thought, especially the couple of things we tried, the three different hookers, they got some exposure, Faf got some exposure at 10. A lot of the things we wanted to get out of the game, we got out of the game.

“This team has always been proud on defence. So extremely happy.

“We must enjoy [the win]. Rugby is something we enjoy and love. But knowing it’s a six-day turnaround [before Ireland] it will be a controlled enjoyment.”

04:28 PM BST

'We spoke about execution'

Here’s the player of the match, Makazole Mapimpi: “Thanks to the South African support. We see you guys behind us all the time.

“We knew it was going to rain. We spoke about execution and physicality.

“It’s always good. I don’t put myself in front of the team. It’s not about me walking over the try line. I appreciate the other guys who did really well.”

04:22 PM BST

Turn on the jets

04:15 PM BST

Ominous signs

It would have been considered something of a disappointment had the Boks not utterly dominated the game in the manner that they did but even still, this side appears to be operating at a very high frequency right now.

Next up...Ireland next Saturday in Paris. Tasty.

03:51 PM BST

80 min SA 76 ROM 0

South Africa win a penalty and look to add a cherry to the icing on the cake.

But Esterhuizen, who has had a relatively quiet game, knocks on. A rare mistake for the South African giant.

Mathieu Raynard blows his whistle, and it’s all over her in Bordeaux.

The final score: South Africa 76-0 Romania.

03:48 PM BST

79 min SA 76 ROM 0

But it’s not to be. South Africa win a free-kick and opt for a scrum.

Now the Boks will have one last chance to mount an attack.

03:47 PM BST

78 min SA 76 ROM 0

With just a couple of minutes to go, Romania have a midfield scrum. If they can win it, they will have one last opportunity to get points on the board.

03:44 PM BST


Wille Le Roux has been pulling the strings all afternoon and finally gets his reward with a first World Cup try.

The full-back runs a shapely outside line to stretch the Romanian defence. The Oaks look tired as they backtrack, and Le Roux throws the full-back a dummy before sailing over the line.

De Klerk hits the post with his conversion. From the reaction of the crowd, South Africa’s mediocre kicking performance is causing some distress...

03:41 PM BST

66 min SA 71 ROM 0

A try goes begging for South Africa!

Stephen Kitshoff finds himself with the ball on the wing and kicks his diesel engine into gear.

The prop bats off one challenge and hurtles towards the fullback like Geoff Capes in full flight, but he is brought to ground in a good double tackle.

Romania then bundle Jaden Hendrikse into touch.

Steven Kitshoff flings away a defender before getting into stride
Steven Kitshoff flings away a defender before getting into stride - Reuters/Stephanie Mahe

03:39 PM BST

The stats don't lie

South Africa are up to over 884 metres made with the ball compared to Romania’s 337 metres.

03:37 PM BST


South Africa are running away with it here.

The conditions have dried up, and South Africa are putting the ball through the hands beuatifully.

They hold the Romanian defensive line with some hard runners and play out the back to get round the edge.

The quality of the passing is pin-point, and the ball ends up in the hands of Mapimpi, who stretches his record to nine World Cup tries.

The conversion is good. The Oaks are splitting like balsa wood here...

03:34 PM BST


Mapimpi gets his second!

It’s like watching rugby sevens here from South Africa.

Faf de Klerk, playing at 10, shows the vision to ship the ball out from inside the Springbok 22.

Willie Le Roux puts in another miss-pass to feed Mapimpi.

The lightning winger is given 15 metres of space to beat his opposite number, which he duly does with a piece of sublime footwork, and then runs in from half-way to score.

de Klerk misses with the conversion.

Makazole Mapimpi shows his footwork to go round his opposite winger
Makazole Mapimpi shows his footwork to go round his opposite winger - PA/Adam Davy

03:31 PM BST


You could see that one coming a million miles away.

Faf de Klerk at fly-half to fixes the opposition 10 before popping inside to Grant Williams.

The flying winger goes in to score his second of the afternoon.

Faf adds the extras.

Grant Williams shows his electric pace to streak through the opposition defence and score
Grant Williams shows his electric pace to streak through the opposition defence and score - PA/Adam Davy

03:29 PM BST

60 min SA 52 ROM 0

Blindside flanker Marco van Staden has just slotted in at hooker.

Nienbar suggested this was an option before the match, but this is stretching the possibilities of numberless players.

Echoes of Eddie Jones looking to play Jack Nowell at flanker...

It throws another option into the debate about who should be brought into the squad to replace the injured Malcolm Marx.

03:26 PM BST

59 min SA 52 ROM 0

Then South Africa are on the counter-attack.

Canan Moodie takes on the opposition inside his own 22 and bursts through.

He tears up-field and has options left and right in Mapimpi and Hendrikse, but the young centre tries to go it alone and gets caught.

He slings the offload, but it’s not a good one. Le Roux gathers but then knocks on as he tries to pass.

What looked a certain try for South Africa goes wanting. Chalk it up to inexperience on Moodie’s behalf.

Canan Moodie is caught in possession as South Africa break
Canan Moodie is caught in possession as South Africa break - PA/Adam Davy

03:23 PM BST

57 min SA 52 ROM 0

A rare break from Romania as Cristian Chirica finds himself in a bit of space on the left flank.

Romania then work it back inside and hit narrow just outside the Springbok 22.

They work up to 10 phases - the most they have strung together all game. But it’s a brilliant turnover by Kwagga Smith.

03:21 PM BST


Try South Africa!

Grant Williams lights up Stade de Bordeaux.

The scrum-half come winger goes on a switch off a scrum and find himself in acres of space.

In a one-on-one with the fullback, there is only one winner, and the South African streaks round to go in under the sticks.

South Africa add the conversion.

03:18 PM BST


The Boks have been so dominant in this department so far, and again they prove their superiority.

They march the Romanian pack backwards and the Oaks have no choice but to infringe.

It’s an automatic seven points for the Springboks.

03:16 PM BST


Raynard initially sees no obstruction, but on the second angle he decides that Kanan Moodie has blocked a tackle from being made on the stepping Willemse.

The ball is called back for a South Africa penalty, and they opt for the scrum on the five.

03:15 PM BST


South Africa are barreling into the midfield here and playing with power.

Willemse puts in a step and carves through to go over, but it looks like there is crossing. It’s being checked..

03:14 PM BST

49 min SA 38 ROM 0

Mapimpi is off and running on the left, brushing off the first tackle. He goes again and darts through another gap, but the referee blows up for blocking.

They were playing under advantage though and kick the penalty up to inside the Romania 22.

03:12 PM BST

48 min SA 38 ROM 0

No way through for Romania as Andre Gorin is penalised for sealing off.

South Africa clear up to halfway.

03:11 PM BST

47 min SA 38 ROM 0

A wry smile from Rassie Erasmus as his much vaunted back is penalised at a scrum - the horror!

Romania have a lineout on the Springboks five-metre line.

In come the backs to get it moving. But South Africa’s maul defence holds firm.

03:08 PM BST


Not well, it would seem...

The Bocks revert to their power game and go for the maul off the lineout.

Replacement hooker Deon Fourie has the ball at the back of the maul and is driven over to score on his first cap.

Willemse misses the conversion.

The oldest Springbok debutant, 35, flashes a smile after scoring a try
The oldest Springbok debutant, 35, flashes a smile after scoring a try - AFP/Christophe Archambault

03:06 PM BST

41 min SA 33 ROM 0

We’re off again.

It was a whirlwind start for South Africa, who won the fastest ever try bonus point in the World Cup, beating Australia’s previous record.

It was also the fastest ever hat-trick from Cobus Reinach, who beat his own record.

With the flood gates open, it looked like South Africa could get up above 50 before half time. But with the rain beating down, Romania dug in and managed to somewhat steady the ship.

Let’s see how they fare in this second half.

02:48 PM BST

39 min SA 33 ROM 0

The rain is lashing it down with one minute to go in the half.

South Africa have a lineout and may knock it out.

But Kleyn cannot gather it, and Romania work up to 12 metres inside the Springbok half.

The ball has gone forwards though, and Mathieu Raynal brings and end to proceedings.

South Africa lead 33-0 at half-time.

02:46 PM BST

37 min SA 33 ROM 0

Jean Kleyn is penalised for a high tackle. It’s a surprise this one hasn’t been checked. He’s clearly high and makes direct contact to the head with his shoulder.

Romania kick to the corner.

They go off the top of the lineout and get up to two metres out. But South Africa win a turnover penalty.

The crowd are whistling, apparently still incensed by the referee’s decision not to review the high tackle.

02:44 PM BST

35 min SA 33 ROM 0

Time for the front-row to have a go. Mbonambi gets up ahead of steam on the right flank but is brought to ground.

Romania win the ball back though. They have done well in this last 10 minutes to disrupt South Africa’s ball. The weather, too, has been a factor.

South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi goes on a trundle
South Africa hooker Bongi Mbonambi goes on a trundle - PA/Adam Davy

02:42 PM BST

33 min SA 33 ROM 0

Romania must get a handle of their own lineout if they are to stay in this game. Another effort fails to got to hand.

But there is a scintilla of positivity as Gontineac breaks from the base of a ruck. There’s nobody with him though, and the Springboks win the ball back.

South Africa then have an opportunity at the other end as they put a kick through. Grant Williams hares after it, but there’s not quite enough depth in the in-goal area, and the ball goes dead.

Romania scrum on their 10-metre line.

02:39 PM BST

31 min SA 33 ROM 0

Brilliant defence by South Africa, who showcase their physicality.

They push Romania backwards with a series of abrasive tackles before winning a turnover penalty and kicking up-field.

There seems little that Romania can do to challenge the Springboks so far.

02:37 PM BST

28 min SA 33 ROM 0

Knock-on by Wille Le Roux.

The full-back seemed to catch the ball without issue, but it slipped out his fingers as he shaped to pass.

It’s a sign of just how greasy the conditions are out there.

Scrum Romania inside South Africa’s 22.

02:36 PM BST

27 min SA 33 ROM 0

It’s been all South Africa so far, with the bocks retaining 63 per cent possession.

At they scrum, they look to win another penalty, but this time the Oaks hold firm.

Romania then put in a good clearance kick up-field before disrupting South Africa ball at the lineout.

A rare glimmer of hope for the Europeans in what has been a challenging half so far.

Duane Vermeulen (top) presides over the South African scrum which has been dominant this half
Duane Vermeulen (top) presides over the South African scrum which has been dominant this half - Getty Images /Jan Kruger

02:33 PM BST


Cobus Reinach has a hat-trick inside 25 minutes.

The South Africa pack obliterate the Romanians, their legs pumping like a well-oiled machine as they march the Oaks backwards.

Reinach then has the simple task to pick up from the base and dive over.

Willemse adds the extras.

Cobus Reinach (left) dives to score a hat-trick inside 25 minutes
Cobus Reinach (left) dives to score a hat-trick inside 25 minutes - AFP/Christophe Archambault

02:30 PM BST

23 min SA 26 ROM 0

South Africa knock the ball forwards through Mbonambi giving Romania a scrum on their own five-metre line.

02:29 PM BST

22 min SA 26 ROM 0

South Africa put it through the hands after winning the ball back again, and Mapimpi has a bit of space.

The winger puts in a chip over the top which looks dangerous. The backline chase well and pin Romania back, winning a penalty.

South Africa kick to the corner and look to work their driving maul again.

02:28 PM BST

21 min SA 26 ROM 0

We’re back under way and Romania kick their penalty to touch just inside the South Africa 22.

The throw goes astray though, and South Africa clear through a Reinach box kick up to halfway.

02:26 PM BST

19 min SA 26 ROM 0

After a spell of kick-tennis and a few attempts to counter from deep by South Africa, Romania have a penalty out to the left just inside the South Africa half.

It’s time for a water break. This will be welcome respite for both teams - and indeed this reporter.

The temperatures are up at 25C in Bordeaux and the rain has just started to come down. That could add a different complexion to the game with the ball sliding around.

02:23 PM BST

17 min SA 26 ROM 0

South Africa mount another dangerous attack and hoist one to the skies.

The Romanian full back jumps and is taken out in the air, slightly clumsily, by the chasing South African.

Romania have a penalty and clear up-field.

02:22 PM BST


The two second rows detach from each other leaving a man offside in front of the ball carrier. In a word, it’s offside. I’ve heard clearer explanations from referees...

A let-off for Romania.

02:19 PM BST


Sure enough, South Africa score. It’s not the prettiest lineout but van Staden goes over. It’s being checked by the TMO though...

02:18 PM BST

16 min SA 26 ROM 0

South Africa have a penalty and kick to the five-metre line. There’s an inevitability about what option they will take. Surely another try is coming...

02:17 PM BST

14 min SA 26 ROM 0

Now it’s Romania’s chance to get points on the board as they opt for the posts following a South Africa penalty at the breakdown.

The kick is from the 22 and out to the left, but Tevita Manumua slices well wide. That does not bode well...

02:16 PM BST


Great work on the floor from Kwagga Smith to get a South Africa turnover.

Willemse gets the ball off the following ruck and puts in an outrageous sidestep, sending the Romania defender sprawling to the floor.

There’s no cover defense in sight, and Willimse runs in an easy try.

South Africa have a bonus point inside 12 minutes.

Damian Willemse puts in a show-stopping sidestep before diving over to score for South African
Damian Willemse puts in a show-stopping sidestep before diving over to score for South African - Getty Images/Jan Kruger

02:13 PM BST


Romania lose the ball in broken play, and this spells danger for the Oaks.

South Africa pounce immediately, again through Reinach. The winger picks from the base of the ruck, shows a dummy, and he’s clean through to run-in from halfway.

South Africa have three tries inside 10 minutes. It could become a cricket score if things carry on like this...

Cobus Reinach dives over for his second try of the afternoon inside 10 minutes
Cobus Reinach dives over for his second try of the afternoon inside 10 minutes - AP/Christophe Ena

02:11 PM BST


South Africa in a dangerous position again here as they set a strong linout maul about 10 metres out.

They attack from the maul for one phase before throwing it out deep to Willie Le Roux.

The fullback runs diagonally to stretch the Romania defence, allowing Makazole Mapimpi an easy walk-in as he comes on a switch.

Willemse settles his nerves to kick the extras this time.

02:08 PM BST


Talk about the power of the Springbok scrum!

They march Romania backwards and the ball squirts out to Cobus Reinach.

The lightning scrum-half snipes off the base and throws a dummy before going over with ease.

Willemse misses what should have been a fairly straightforward conversion though. That will concern South African fans, who have questioned the kicking ability of their fly-half options.

Cobus Reinach (left) dives to score South Africa's first try
Cobus Reinach (left) dives to score South Africa's first try - AFP/Christophe Archambault
Willemse misses a straightforward kick as South African concerns mount over who should start at fly-half
Willemse misses a straightforward kick as South African concerns mount over who should start at fly-half - Getty Images/Jan Kruger

02:05 PM BST

4 min SA 0 ROM 0

South Africa show a brief flicker of the power they have at their disposal through a carry by Ox Nche.

They power inside the 22 but the ball is lost forwards.

The referee pulls it back for a scrum.

02:03 PM BST

1 min SA 0 ROM 0

And we’re off! South Africa, dressed in green, get us under way through the boot of Damian Willemse.

Romania, in yellow, gather inside their 22 and truck it up-field before clearing to touch.

But the kick goes straight out, so the Springboks will have a lineout just outside the Romania 22. A rooky error from Romania.

02:01 PM BST

The anthems

Rousing performances from both teams.

The tracksuits are off, and kick-off is just moments away!

02:00 PM BST

Injury update

Vincent Koch has pulled out in the warm-up so Trevor Nyakane comes off the bench to start at prop.

02:00 PM BST

South Africa select four scrum halves

Eagle-eyed viewer may have picked up that South Africa have selected four scrum halves in their match-day squad with Grant Williams and Cobus Reinach starting and Jaden Hendrikse as well as Faf de Klerk on the bench.

It’s not the first time coach Nienbar has thrown a surprise ingredient into his selection ideas pot in recent weeks after whipping up an 8-1 bench split against the All Black’s in the Springboks last warm-up game.

Those who saw Grant WIlliams run half the length of the field against Scotland will know that he isn’t short of a yard or two of pace on the wing.

It remains to be seen how Nienbar and fellow luminary Erasmus will deploy their other scrum-half options...

01:45 PM BST

The battle of the scrum

South Africa are a team who have something of a reputation for scrummaging.

It may therefore come as a surprise that this is an area of the game in which Romania hope to match the Boks this afternoon.

But that is exactly what Oaks prop Alexandru Gordas hopes to do after laying down the gauntlet earlier this week.

“We have analysed them, they have a strong pack and they have a good scrum, so we expect (it to be tough). But we are here to show our strength in the scrum too,” Gordas said.

“It is a great opportunity for us because we have a lot of young players in the scrum and we want to take this opportunity and show we are also strong like we have been in the past. We want to keep going.”

01:40 PM BST

And for Romania

Romania team guide
Romania team guide

01:40 PM BST

Our experts' view on South Africa's record and prospects

South Africa team guide
South Africa team guide

01:38 PM BST

How will South Africa replace Marx?

South Africa’s hopes of defending their World Cup crown were hit by a tournament-ending injury to hooker Malcolm Marx earlier this week.

Since the news came out, the rugby ecosphere has been abuzz with speculation over who will be brought in to replace the burly hooker - regarded as one of the world’s best.

South Africa are light in the No 2 jersey, having named only two out-and-out hookers – Marx and Bongi Mbonambi – in their original 33-player. But head coach Nienbar and Svengali Rasie Erasmus have insisted the current crop of players can cover for Marx, leading to whisperings of a potential call-up for World Cup-winning fly-half Handre Pollard.

The Leicester 10 was initially left out of the Boks squad due to injury, but South Africa’s coaching team were watching him in action for Leicester Tigers in a friendly against Sale Sharks on Friday night.

“We haven’t made any decision yet, maybe something will come after this game (on Sunday against Romania),” Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick told reporters on Saturday.

Opinion in South Africa has become polarised over whether the side should add a second specialist number two or provide more surety from the kicking tee in what are likely to be tight knockout games should they advance from Pool B.

Check out Charles Richardson’s full report here to find out more about what the Springboks can do to solve their dilemma.

South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx has been ruled out the World Cup with an ACL injury
South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx has been ruled out the World Cup with an ACL injury - PA/David Davies

01:21 PM BST

The teams

South Africa:

Starting XV: 15-Willie Le Roux, 14-Grant Williams, 13-Canan Moodie, 12-Andre Esterhuizen, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Damian Willemse, 9-Cobus Reinach, 1-Ox Nche, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 3-Vincent Koch, 4-Jean Kleyn, 5-Marvin Orie, 6-Marco van Staden, 7-Kwagga Smith, 8-Duane Vermeulen

Replacements: 16-Deon Fourie, 17-Steven Kitshoff, 18-Trevor Nyakane, 19-RG Snyman, 20-Jasper Wiese, 21-Jaden Hendrikse, 22-Faf de Klerk, 23-Jesse Kriel


Starting XV: 15-Marius Simionescu, 14-Tevita Manumua, 13-Jason Tomane, 12-Taylor Gontineac, 11-Nicolas Onutu, 10-Hinckley Vaovasa, 9-Gabriel Rupanu, 1-Iulian Hartig, 2-Ovidiu Cojocaru, 3-Alex Gordas, 4-Adrian Motoc, 5-Marius Iftimiciuc, 6-Andre Gorin, 7-Vlad Neculau, 8-Cristian Chirica

Replacements: 16-Rob Irimescu, 17-Alexandru Savin, 18-Thomas Cretu, 19-Stefan Iancu, 20-Damian Stratila, 21-Cristi Boboc, 22-Alin Conache, 23-Gabriel Pop

Referee: Mathieu Raynal

01:11 PM BST

South Africa coach: 'We should show Romania respect'

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport’s coverage of this afternoon’s Rugby World Cup Pool B clash between South Africa and Romania at Stade de Bordeaux.

These two proud rugby nations have met just once before in Test rugby when the Springboks won 21-8 at their home World Cup on their way to lifting the trophy for the first time in 1995.

Jacques Nienaber’s side come into this match off the back of a hard-fought victory against Scotland. The teams looked relatively even at the half-way point, but the arrival of the ‘bomb squad’ and some no-look kicking wizardry from fly-half Manie Libbok allowed the reigning champions to accelerate away to win 18-3.

The Springboks will be hoping to lay down a marker today after pool B rivals Ireland gave Romania an 82-8 drubbing last week, but they will look to do so with a much changed team.

A knee injury to Malcolm Marx in training earlier in the week that ruled the domineering hooker out the tournament added to Jacques Nienaber’s injury woes. Perhaps with that in mind, the Springbok coach has made 14 changes to his starting XV, with Damian Willemse the only player to keep his place - although the Stormers utility back starts at fly-half instead of full-back.

Romania, meanwhile, showed glimpses of genuine quality last weekend despite the emphatic scoreline, and even shocked Andy Farrell’s side into action with an early try. Going up against the first and second-ranked sides in the world in a week is as tough as it gets, but the Oaks will be out to impress against the Springboks this afternoon.

Head coach coach Eugen Apjok has made three changes, including a World Cup debut to flanker Andre Gorin at the age of 35.

Last week, Romania spoke of having nothing to lose. Ahead of today’s clash,  Apjok said: “After the world number one team Ireland, then South Africa, second in the world and the world champions, you can only be enthusiastic.”

Addressing his team selection, South Africa coach Nienaber said: “We’re fully focused on Romania because we should show them that respect. It’s only the second time we’ve played them in a World Cup, so it’s a special game for us.

“The most important thing in terms of selection is making sure we prepare for and beat Romania, and we select a team that we feel is good enough to beat the opposition.

“There is a definite objective that we want in this game, and points difference might come into play in this pool, but the first thing is we need to back up the (opening win).”