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News24.com | Italy coach Crowley lavishes praise on Boks: 'They're not World Champions for nothing'




  • Italy coach Kieran Crowley was glowing in his assessment of the Boks, saying they weren’t World Champions for nothing.
  • The Boks crushed Italy 63-21 in Genoa on Saturday to win their first game on tour and subject Italy to their first defeat in four games.
  • The Boks complete their tour with a clash against England at Twickenham this weekend.

In Genoa

Italy coach Kieran Crowley was glowing in his assessment of the Springboks, saying that they weren’t World Champions for nothing after crushing his side 63-21 in Genoa on Saturday.

Crowley’s charges went into the game on the back of three consecutive wins and for the better part of the first half, were very competitive.

Things fell apart for them in the second half where the Boks blew them away with a mixture of power and precision to take the second stanza 45-8.

READ | Boks went back to ‘falling in love with the game’ after week of Rassie drama

Crowley felt the early part of the second half was the turning point for the Springboks.

“They have massive size, and they have very good players,” Crowley said.

“They had a six-two split with six forwards on the bench, but they played a bit more in this game, which is something they haven’t done much of in this tour, even though there were some signs against France.

“They got a couple of tries in the second half that gave them some momentum and confidence to play more.

MATCH REPORT | Springboks overcome horror week, run riot in Genoa to land thumping Italy win

“They’re not World Champions for nothing.”

Crowley said the Boks’ upturn in fortunes after two narrow defeats against Ireland and France was expected.

Jacques Nienaber’s side was on the wrong end of three and four-point losses in Dublin and Marseille, results that put Italy in the Boks’ firing line.

Crowley said the win may give the Boks much-needed momentum for their Test against England at Twickenham this week.

“If you look at the two games that they’ve had, they have been against Ireland and France,” Crowley said.

READ | Bok ratings: Liberation of the backline … at last!

“Those sides are number one and two in the world and they lost those games by a narrow margin, so they’ve been playing well.

“They would have seen this game as one that they had to win, and they certainly dominated that second half against us.

“That’ll certainly give them momentum heading into the England game.”

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