Springboks outmuscle Italy to move top of Pool B

Mbongeni Mbonambi celebrates with teammates after scoring the Springbok's second try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa and Italy.
Mbongeni Mbonambi celebrates with teammates after scoring the Springbok's second try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa and Italy.
Image: Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

South Africa ramped up the physicality to crush an Italy side reduced to 14 men for most of the second half 49-3 on Friday, moving above the Italians and New Zealand to the top of Rugby World Cup Pool B in the process.

The Springboks have never failed to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup and they all but erased that possibility at this tournament with a display of controlled brutality at Shizuoka Stadium.

The ever-dangerous Cheslin Kolbe scored a try in each half and Bongi Mbonambi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, RG Snyman and Malcolm Marx also crossed to comfortably earn the twice World Cup winners a bonus point.

Italy's already tricky task became nigh on impossible when they had prop Andrea Lovotti sent off for dropping Duane Vermeulen on his head in the 43rd minute and their slim hopes of progressing now rest on beating the All Blacks for the first time.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Tokyo, editing by Tony Lawrence

RG Snyman celebrates with teammates after scoring the Springbok’s sixth try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa and Italy.
RG Snyman celebrates with teammates after scoring the Springbok’s sixth try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group B game between South Africa and Italy.
Image: Adam Pretty/Getty Images
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