Boks see funny side of balls grab
SPRINGBOK captain Jean de Villiers only half-jokingly said that Adriaan Strauss "put his balls on the line" for South Africa during Saturday's 56-23 win over Samoa.
Strauss was incensed when Samoan fullback James So'oialo appeared to squeeze the hooker's testicles in an unprovoked assault midway through the second half.
The TV match official was asked to review the incident and politely told referee Pascal Gauzere that So'oialo had "grabbed the 'green' player in an indecent manner".
It only led to a penalty at the time, but So'oialo was cited. He was cleared at a hearing yesterday, with the grab deemed "accidental". Attacking the testicles is one of the great unwritten no-nos in rugby.
Although Strauss's team-mates saw the funny side after the game, it did underline Samoa's brutal approach to the game that also saw wing Alesana Tuilagi red-carded for a late, high, stiff-arm tackle on De Villiers. He has been banned for two weeks. Despite the provocation the Boks kept their composure and notched up eight tries, including two for wing Bryan Habana, which took him to 50 in Tests, and an eighth straight win over Samoa.
It was the most complete performance from the team in the June series and gave them a good boost with their next assignment, a home match against Argentina in the Rugby Championship in August.
It was also the Boks' sixth straight win going back to last November, when they won all three Tests on their tour of Britain and Ireland.
"We've been working on getting the ball out early in these three games and we have scored some great tries," coach Heyneke Meyer said. "Last year we scored 22 tries - that was second-highest in the world - and this year we're already on 16 tries. We know the public will be proud of us but we need to up our basics."