Rugby World Cup: South Africa run in 12 tries in demolition job of Romania

South Africa halfback Cobus Reinach and wing Makazole Mapimpi scored a hat-trick each as their side cruised to a 76-0 Rugby World Cup Pool B win over Romania and in the process tried out several of their squad experiments.

The Springboks had their bonus point within 12 minutes as they overwhelmed Romania with a fast start, before the heavens opened, and the rain made for more challenging conditions.

As expected, they were dominant in all facets of the game and while Uruguay and Portugal have provided a stern test for tier one nations at this World Cup, Romania are simply not at the same level having also lost their opener 82-8 to Ireland.

The Boks meet Ireland next in their third pool game in Paris, which will be a huge step up in quality but also see a return of their first-choice players to the starting XV.

They ran in 12 tries in all with further scores for first-five Damian Willemse, hooker Deon Fourie, wing Grant Williams (two), fullback Willie le Roux and a penalty try in what became a box-ticking exercise after the first quarter of the game.

Hordes of Springboks fans gathered outside the Stade de Bordeaux before the match in their green jerseys, several sporting nothing but shoes and swimming trunks with the South Africa flag on in homage to famous images of scrum half Faf de Klerk after their 2019 World Cup win.

The Boks lost prop Vincent Koch when he was injured in the warm-up, his place in the side taken by Trevor Nyakane.

Romania, beaten 21-8 in their previous World Cup meeting with the Boks in 1995, were always going to be up against it but did not help themselves with a tentative start.

They were weak in the tackle and left too much space for their opponents to play as South Africa picked off their errors with four tries in the opening 12 minutes.

The Boks dominated the breakdown, winning 12 turnovers in the match, but the scoring slowed when a deluge of rain fell midway through the first half as they led 33-0 at halftime.

Fourie came on at the break for his first appearance at hooker since 2018. The loose-forward took over from Bongi Mbonambi and is now second-choice number two in the squad after injury to Malcolm Marx. He acquitted himself well under admittedly little pressure.

First-choice scrumhalf Faf de Klerk also came on at flyhalf after 55 minutes in another of coach Jacques Nienaber's experiments, but his lack of accuracy off the kicking tee may hasten calls for Handre Pollard to come into the squad as the replacement for Marx.