Shamik Das

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bobo and co nearly clock the Boks

AHOY, HOY! Charles Montgomery Burns with Bobo.    TRY, EVERYBODY! Sireli Bobo in a different kind of embrace with the Springbok defence.

Marseilles, World Cup, Quarter-Finals: South Africa 37-20 Fiji

THE Springboks had to dig deep to edge out a fighting Fiji at Stade VĂ©lodrome today.

Having been cruising at 20-6 with 30 minutes remaining the South Africans were given the fright of their lives.

Superb tries from Vilimonu Delasau and Sireli Bobo drew Fiji level before Juan Smith and Butch James crossed the line to avoid the prospect of defeat.

Bobo's in particular was one of the tries of the tournament, set up by a breathtaking move that saw the Fijians carrying the ball the length of the pitch.

Full-back Norman Ligairi collected a kick-off and ran straight up the middle before Mosese Raulini sprinted the next 25 metres, slipping a perfectly timed pop-pass over his shoulder to Bobo, who evaded Jaque Fourie's tackle to touch down and tie the scores at 20-20 with 20 to go.

But Smith and James added to JP Pietersen, John Smit and Fourie's earlier scores to ensure no repeat of yesterday's upsets.

IN THE YAN-NICK OF TIME: Yannick Jauzion scores late on to propel the hosts to victory.    SO NEAR, YET SO FAR: Rodney So'oialo troops off disconsolately as the France players celebrate in the background.

South Africa are now the overwhelming favourites for the World Cup, following New Zealand's shock defeat to France last night and Australia's surprise loss to England.

And with the prospect of a semi-final against Scotland or Argentina to come, Springbok coach Jake White remains confident of going all the way.

"At the end of day we're going into the next round, we're in the last four and we've got no injuries," he said. "It was the quarter-final of the World Cup and we scored five tries to two.

"We didn't play as well we could have done, we know that, but we have still got a chance to win the World Cup. I would much rather be where I am today than where New Zealand and Australia are."

"We are quite happy we got out alive today, especially looking at the other results this weekend," added Springbok skipper Smit.


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