Rassie Erasmus was pleased to see South Africa keep things simple in tricky conditions as they booked a place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
A much-changed Springboks side rounded off their Pool B fixtures with a resounding 66-7 victory over Canada in Kobe, Cobus Reinach effectively putting the game to bed in the first half with a hat-trick in the space of 10 minutes and 25 seconds.
Damian de Allende, S’Busiso Nkosi, Warrick Gelant, Frans Steyn, Schalk Brits, Damian Willemse and Frans Malherbe also touched down in a comprehensive victory amid high humidity.
Matt Heaton scored the only try for Canada, who will hope to claim their first point when they face Pool B’s other winless team Namibia on Sunday.
South Africa have at least 11 days until they are back in action with a quarter-final against Ireland, Scotland or hosts Japan, and Erasmus was pleased to head into the knockout stages after a solid display.
He said: “It was a short turnaround for the guys, a lot of guys who hadn’t played for a while. It was scrappy at stages but I can’t moan about that, overall not too bad.
“In this humidity, you can overexaggerate the play and I think we kept it really simple which is a good thing.
“I think the big thing is to see who we play in the quarters, give the guys two days off and then by Friday we’ll be back on the horse again.
“I think there’s so much stiff opposition, but we’ve got a good chance like everyone else. There’s so many good teams in this tournament but I think we’re in with a chance.
“We played Japan a few weeks ago [a 41-7 win for the Springboks] and they’re a class act. Ireland are a class act as are Scotland. Some tough opposition in the next couple of weeks.”
— Springboks (@Springboks) October 8, 2019
Captain Siya Kolisi and De Allende were the only players to retain their starting places for the Canada game.
Kolisi was sidelined by a knee injury in the build-up to the competition in Japan and relished the chance to get another full match under his belt.
“It was really good [to get 80 minutes], especially with a performance like that,” said Kolisi.
“I’m really proud of the boys because that’s what it’s going to take for us. If you don’t improve every week it shows you haven’t learned anything.”