South Africa 49-3 Italy: Cheslin Kolbe scores twice as Springboks move top of Pool B
By Tony Tighe
Last Updated: 04/10/19 4:38pm
Cheslin Kolbe scored two tries as South Africa showcased their brute strength with a 49-3 win over 14-man Italy.
The Springbok speedster touched down in each half, with Bongi Mbonambi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx also crossing to move them top of Pool B.
However, there was late concern for South Africa when Kolbe hobbled off with what looked to be an ankle injury.
Italy were also in the wars, losing tightheads Simone Ferrari and Marco Riccioni to injury during the opening 20 minutes, which led to uncontested scrums.
And they lost another prop shortly after half-time when Andrea Lovotti was sent off for his part in a disgraceful spear tackle on Duane Vermeulen.
The Azzurri were beasted in the physical exchanges, South Africa dominating the contact area, and Kolbe's first try was the result of some ferocious carries by his forward pack.
The winger produced a wonderful step off his right to beat two defenders, with Handre Pollard's conversion making it 7-0 after six minutes.
Italy replied with their only score of the evening, Tommaso Allan kicking a penalty, but they failed to come away with anything from their visits to the opposition 22 as South Africa easily negated their driving mauls.
Le Roux butchered a scoring chance on 25 minutes but South Africa didn't have to wait long for their second, Mbonambi diving over for his third try of the tournament from a maul.
Italy were fortunate to only trail 17-3 at the interval but any hopes of getting back into the game were ended on 43 minutes when Lovotti was sent off.
A fine break by Braam Steyn kickstarted a nice spell from Italy which saw get them to within metres of the tryline.
However, seconds after referee Wayne Barnes had blown for an Italian penalty, Lovotti and fellow prop Nicola Quaglio picked up Vermeulen and speared the No 8 head-first into the turf.
Lovotti was deemed to be the worst offender and picked up a deserved red.
South Africa profited in the extra space as Kolbe claimed Pollard's crossfield kick to score his seventh Test try.
The bonus point arrived on 58 minutes after some breathless end-to-end rugby. Jake Polledri's offload went straight to Am and the centre jogged in for a try.
Makazole Mapimpi scored his 11th try in as many games as Italy tired, with replacements RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx also crossing in the closing stages.
The one negative came in the final minute when Kolbe went down clutching his ankle after making yet another line break.