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South Africa storm to victory in Italy with seven second-half tries

By Liam Heagney
Cobus Reinach (second from right) celebrates his try for South Africa (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

Kurt-Lee Arendse scored twice as a dominant second-half performance saw South Africa register their first Autumn Nations series win with a 63-21 victory over Italy in Genoa. The world champions had lost their last two games against Ireland and France but after narrowly leading at half-time, they scored seven tries after the break to storm to victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

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Arendse opened the scoring inside the first two minutes when he broke through the defensive line to touch down in the left corner but Italy, fresh from their first-ever win over Australia, soon responded through a Tommaso Allan penalty.

Ange Capuozzo then picked up where he left off following his try-scoring brace against the Wallabies by touching down in the tenth minute, with Allan’s conversion and subsequent penalty putting Italy 13-8 ahead midway through the first half.

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However, South Africa rallied to claim an 18-13 half-time lead thanks to a Bongi Mbonambi try, and then the Springboks ran away with the game in the second half. The tourists scored twice in quick succession after the restart through Cheslin Kolbe and Arendse to move 30-16 ahead and there was no way back for the Azzurri after that.

The Springboks continued to exert their dominance when replacement Kwagga Smith scored in the 54th minute before Malcolm Marx added their sixth try of the game just after the hour. Italy continued to battle and a good move down the left saw Lorenzo Cannone get on the scoresheet with a try in the 65th minute, but South Africa responded instantly when Steven Kitshoff crossed three minutes later.

Damian Willemse also notched for the Springboks in the 72nd minute before Cobus Reinach capped off an impressive second-half display with their ninth and final try of the game two minutes from time. Next up for South Africa is a clash with England at Twickenham in the final round of fixtures, while Italy finish the series with two wins from three after victories over Samoa and Australia.

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