Date Time Competition Season
1 October 2023 8:00 pm Rugby World Cup 2023/24

Match Report

South Africa Move Top After Tonga Victory

South Africa have powered past Tonga with a 49-18 win in their Rugby Pool B fixture at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Sunday. 

The Springboks are still strong contenders in this tournament, even after their loss last weekend to Ireland at the Stade de France.

Should they finish second in Pool B, it's likely they'll face France in the quarter-finals.

The win tonight will do no harm to their confidence as Tonga put in a typically spirited and abrasive performance but could not do enough to pull off a massive upset.

Tonga took a surprise lead, with William Havili knocking over a short kick after some early South African errors.

However, it wasn’t long before South Africa were awarded a penalty and Tonga's players turned their backs in a lapse of concentration, expecting the Springboks to kick to touch and scrum-half Reinach opportunistically tapped and went, sprinting unopposed into the corner. Handre Pollard makes the conversion.

Tonga dominated the opening exchanges but could not capitalise. South Africa then scored out of nowhere, with the ball deflecting of Koch’s shoulder and Canan Moodie sprinted over, picked it up and ran under the posts for a try converted by Pollard.

Deon Fourie was the next to score for the Springboks, steering the lineout maul towards the line and burrowing over. Pollard maintained his accuracy from the kicking tee to put his side 21-3 up.

Tonga would hit back before the break, however, with Ben Tameifuna powering his way over from short distance to keep his side in the game at half-time.

Tonga continued to battle in the second half, but South Africa went up through the gears. A brilliant, slick move, starting off with a line-out allowed replacement Jesse Kriel to punch is way over the line for the bonus point try.

Tonga responded with a much-deserved try from Fine Inisi who crosses in style in the corner following several good phases to make the score 28-13.

Further tries from Willie Le Roux and Jesse Kriel gave the Springboks a healthy cushion but Tonga did not wilt in the second half, hitting back with a try from replacement out-half Patrick Pellegrini.

A try from Kwagga Smith was the last play of the game and capped off a relatively hard-fought win for the Springboks.

South Africa

15Willie le Roux Full-Back 52'
14Grant Williams Winger
13Canan Moodie Centre 5'
12Andre Esterhuizen 23 Centre
11Makazole Mapimpi Winger
10Handré Pollard 22 Fly-Half 6', 20', 31', 49'
9Cobus Reinach 21 Scrum-Half 6'
1Ox Nche 17 Prop
2Deon Fourie Hooker 31'
3Vincent Koch 18 Prop
4Eben Etzebeth Lock
5Marvin Orie 19 Lock
6Siya Kolisi 16 Flanker
7Duane Vermeulen Flanker
8Jasper Wiese 20 No. 8
16Marco van Staden 6 Flanker 65'
17Steven Kitshoff 1 Prop
18Trevor Nyakane 3 Prop
19Franco Mostert 5 Lock
20Kwagga Smith 8 Flanker 80'
21Jaden Hendrikse 9 Scrum-Half
22Manie Libbok 10 Fly-Half 53', 66', 60'
23Jesse Kriel 12 Centre 49'


15Charles Piutau Full-Back
14Fine Inisi Winger 53'
13Malakai Fekitoa 23 Centre
12Pita Ahki Centre
11Anzelo Tuitavuki Winger
10William Havili 22 Fly-Half 3'
9Augustine Pulu 21 Scrum-Half
1Siegfried Fisi’Ihoi 17 Prop
2Paul Ngauamo 16 Hooker
3Ben Tameifuna 18 Prop 38'
4Leva Fifita Lock
5Sam Lousi 19 Lock
6Tanginoa Halaifonua Flanker
7Sione Havili Talitui Flanker
8Semisi Paea 20 No. 8
16Sam Moli 2 Hooker
17Tau Koloamatangi 1 Prop
18Sosefo Apikotoa 3 Prop
19Adam Coleman 5 Lock
20Sione Vailanu 8 No. 8
21Sonatane Takulua 9 Scrum-Half
22Patrick Pellegrini 10 Fly-Half 73'
23Afusipa Taumoepeau 13 Centre


Stade Velodrome, Marseille
Orange Vélodrome, 3, Boulevard Michelet, Saint-Giniez, Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Metropolitan France, 13008, France