Rugby World Cup: You’re Habana a laugh

13:41 08 October 2015

South Africa

South Africa's Bryan Habana goes over to score a try during the World Cup match against the USA at the Olympic Stadium, London (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)

PA/Press Association Images

South Africa 64-0 USA. There was only ever going to be one winner.

USA fans show their support in the stands before the World Cup match at the Olympic Stadium, London (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)USA fans show their support in the stands before the World Cup match at the Olympic Stadium, London (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA)

The majority of the USA side will return to their full-time jobs after the tournament whereas the mighty Springboks boasted a starting 15 with 623 caps between them.

On top of that, the American Eagles had a number of players rested in preparation for their climactic clash with giant-slayers Japan, the lengthy odds were pretty justified.

But with Georgia putting in a memorable performance against the All Blacks and South Africa themselves falling foul of the Japanese in their opening match, there is always an element of “anything can happen” at a World Cup.

But that thought lasted all of seven minutes, until Damian de Allende dived over the line to open the scoring.

A USA fan can barely look during their World Cup mauling at the hands of South Africa at the Olympic Stadium, London (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA).A USA fan can barely look during their World Cup mauling at the hands of South Africa at the Olympic Stadium, London (pic: Gareth Fuller/PA).

The first half was largely forgettable although South African mistakes kept the gap to just 14 by the break.

As a neutral watching from the stands I was naturally rooting for the underdog and secretly hoping for an upset, but as the minutes wore on and the points racked up, my allegiances switched as the question became just how points many the Springboks would get.

Every time they picked up the ball after the break they looked like scoring, and like the majority of people inside the ground, I wanted it to be a memorable “I was there” match.

And so it became, thanks to one Bryan Habana.

The speedy winger scored a hat-trick inside 21 second-half minutes to draw level with New Zealand legend Jonah Lomu’s mark of 15 World Cup tries.

But even the most gifted of finishers make mistakes, and the Toulon man missed breaking clear of the record by dropping what looked like a dead-cert diving over the line.

With the Springboks through to face either Australia or Wales in the last-eight next week, it looks likely he’ll go clear of Lomu at this tournament.

In fact head coach Heyneke Meyer joked in the press conference afterwards that the only side he wouldn’t like to face is Japan.

But even if they do crash out without Habana touching down again, at the age of 32 he could easily add to his tally in Japan in four year’s time.

Not only was it the biggest winning margin of this year’s tournament – although still 78 points shy of Australia’s embarrassing annihilation of Namibia in 2003 – but it was also the first nil-ing of this year’s competition.

Admittedly that was partly through a lack of American skill and clinical edge, but the strength of the Bok’s defence and dominance at the scrum sent out a big message to the other tournament favourites.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Sports News

Paul McCallum celebrates after finding the net for Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor).

English Football League Trophy Southern Group G: Leyton Orient 3 Stevenage 1

Alex Cisak
Yesterday, 16:30
Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir knocks the ball forward against Charlton Athletic. Pic: TIM REDER

O’s captain Robbie Weir set to make first appearance in two weeks and will hope to show he is back to full fitness now

Andy Hessenthaler
Yesterday, 16:00
Robert Mear of Lakeside Hammers has been ruled out for the season (pic: Rob Newell/TGSPHOTO)

Hammers place youngster in starting line-up for remainder of season

Yesterday, 14:00
Dean Cox celebrates his goal for Leyton Orient against Stevenage on August 16 (pic: Simon O'Connor)

O’s League Two rivals Stevenage make trip to Brisbane Road for second time this month for Southern Group G fixture

Andy Hessenthaler

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists


You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Read more
Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now