Another injury scare for Boks despite good day at the office

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South Africa had a fine day at the office on Sunday, thumping Romania 76-0, but there is concern about another possible injury in their squad as Vincent Koch missed out after hurting himself in the pre-match warm-up.

Coach Jacques Nienaber said the prop hurt his knee but the extent of the injury was not yet clear.

“There is a bit of injury worry within the side so we will look and assess and make a decision,” Nienaber told reporters.

For the Springbok coach there were many boxes ticked as South Africa turned out an eccentric line-up, including four scrumhalves in the match day 23, three of them on the pitch together at one stage.

“Internally we have massive respect for Romania, we gave them a lot of attention during the week, but we also wanted to get something out of the game for ourselves, giving guys opportunities.”

South Africa had Faf de Klerk at flyhalf and Grant Williams on the wing, where he scored two tries, and in the second half used flankers Deon Fourie and Marco van Staden at hooker.

“I’m especially happy with a couple of things we tried,” Nienaber added. “The three different hookers that we used, I thought that paid off.

“Then Faf got some exposure at flyhalf so I thought a lot of things that we wanted to get out of the game, we got.

“We’re happy from a defensive point of view, the fact it went to 76 points to zero conceded. Sometimes the scoreboard goes for you but the effort was there and that’s what mattered.”

South Africa have a much tougher proposition against top ranked Ireland next Saturday at the Stade de France in Paris in a match likely to settle the top two in Pool B and decide who plays France or New Zealand in the quarter-final, barring any major upsets.

“We’ve got a short turnaround, so we’ll enjoy tonight but in a controlled manner and we’ll start making plans for Ireland tomorrow. It will be a big game in terms of who finishes one or two in the pool … maybe not, we still have Tonga, we are only halfway, I don’t want to get too far ahead.

“It’s going to be a tough quarter-final no matter who we play. We can’t control that, destiny will decide,” Nienaber said.