Springboks mark return to action with big win

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The Springboks had not competed since winning the Rugby World Cup in November 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic and initially took time to get going in Pretoria.

But the host side slowly loosened up on and crossed over six times to make a positive start to preparations for its upcoming three-match Test series with the British and Irish Lions

Aphelele Fassi was one of two players making their debut for the Boks, along with Rosko Specman, and he marked the occasion with the first try inside the opening five minutes from his very first touch.

Georgia had already got on the board by that point through Tedo Abzhandadze's penalty, and the fly-half kicked over twice more before South Africa next registered.

After a sustained spell of pressure, Bongi Mbonambi went over from the maul to give the home team a platform to build on and they did not look back.

The world champions made the most of its man advantage after Beka Saghinadze was sin-binned as Cobus Reinach gathered a Fassi kick and raced through before half-time.

South Africa had more of a cutting edge to them in the second half, with Kwagga Smith picking up from the base to cross over and Herschel Jantjies doing likewise five minutes later thanks to some smart play from Handre Pollard.

Malcolm Marx was next to dot down following a powerful rolling maul as Jacques Nienaber's side moved through the gears against their European opponents.

The Springboks passed up a couple of promising situations in the remaining 10 minutes on home soil, but the damage had already been done as they claimed victory in the first of their two Tests with Georgia ahead of facing the Lions on 24 July.


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