Cheslin Kolbe and Herschel Jantjies are expected to be fit for South Africa's Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Japan on Sunday.

Livewire wing Kolbe missed the 66-7 rout of Canada last Tuesday after taking a knock to his ankle in the victory over Italy, while scrum-half Jantjies has been nursing a strained hamstring.

Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus on Monday revealed both players should feature at Tokyo Stadium.

"Internally our team has already been announced and they will both be in the team," said Erasmus.

"We will have our first full training session in preparation for Japan tomorrow. We expect them to come through the training session so I would say they are 99 per cent ready."

Erasmus was full of praise for the host nation after the Brave Blossoms reached the last eight for the first time by beating Scotland on a weekend that saw the country hit by the devastating Typhoon Hagibis.

"The first thing is that it's really tough not to like Japanese people," he said.

"The way they have embraced all teams – not just South Africa – on and off the field, and adopting you as a city, putting on South African jerseys and making you feel at home is something special which I have never experienced in my life before.

"The way they have handled the typhoon – and I know there have been lots of losses in terms of lives and in different ways – and we send our condolences from South Africa and the Springboks to those people.

"But, again, it shows the strength of Japanese people to still host a game; play a game and beat a team like Scotland.

"However, while saying that, we are playing for our country and we want to try and win the World Cup and for the next week unfortunately Japan is the enemy for one week.

"We love the country, we love the people, but we have to try and beat them, and we have to play really well to beat them because they are ranked six or seven in the world and they deserve it.

"It's going to be a really, really tough match for us this Sunday."

Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief executive Thabang Moroe has issued a rallying cry and declared these are "exciting times" just a day after the Proteas suffered a record Test defeat to India.

India won by an innings and 137 runs - their biggest margin of victory against South Africa - in Pune on Sunday to wrap up the series with a match to spare.

Virat Kohli's side took the opening match by 203 runs and the tourists will have to show a vast improvement in order to avoid a whitewash in Ranchi.

Moroe has called for fans to back Faf du Plessis' side in a transitional period in a new era following the departure of head coach Ottis Gibson and the retirement of key players.

"It was always going to be a difficult challenge taking on the top team in the world – certainly under their own conditions – in India at a time when we have introduced a new team structure," Moroe said.

"In the past two years we have had to bid farewell to some of the great names of international cricket such as AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn who between them played nearly 450 Test matches for the Proteas.

"You don't replace that kind of experience overnight and we need to give a new generation time to settle.

"These things take time and I am confident that we will already see improvement in our next Test series when England are our visitors during the festive season. I am sure that our supporters will rally behind them on home turf. 

"These are, in fact, exciting times for South African cricket with new names and faces coming to the fore. Our talent pipeline has produced the likes of Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Zubayr Hamza over the last few years and our development systems are clearly in good shape.

"There is a huge incentive on our young players to put pressure on the incumbents. There is nothing like good competition for places that brings out the best in all."

The Rugby World Cup is headed for the knockout rounds after a dramatic pool stage in which Scotland were the biggest casualties.

Eight teams remain from 20, with hosts Japan – who have four wins from four – progressing as winners of Pool A after defeating Gregor Townsend's men on Sunday.

Japan also stunned Ireland in the same group, but Joe Schmidt's side progressed into the quarters in second.

In Pool B, two-time defending champions New Zealand finished top, with an impressive South Africa side behind them. Italy were frustrated as the impact of Typhoon Hagibis ended their slim chances of progression.

Meanwhile, England topped Pool C with France in second place, with Wales and Australia completing the last-eight line-up.

Using Opta data, we look back at an enthralling tournament so far.

Pool A – Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Russia

1 – Japan are into the knockout stage of a World Cup for the first time in their history, becoming the first non-tier one side to do so since Fiji in 2007.

5 – Kirill Golosnitskiy's scored in the fifth minute of the opening match as Russia took the lead against Japan. It is the quickest ever try in a World Cup opener.

2 – Scotland have failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup for just the second time, after also doing so in 2011.

90 – Rob Kearney crossed for a try after just 90 seconds against Russia, Ireland's fastest World Cup try and the fastest of the tournament so far.

48 – Japan's Yu Tamura has scored 48 points so far, more than any other player. All of his points have come with the boot – 10 penalties and nine conversions.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

4 – Canada had Josh Larsen sent off versus South Africa and have had four players dismissed in the history of the World Cup, more than any other side. There have been seven dismissals so far this tournament – four was the previous highest total in both 1995 and 1999.

17 – New Zealand have won their last 17 World Cup matches, the longest run by any side in the tournament's history.

21 – Against Canada, South Africa's Cobus Reinach scored the earliest hat-trick in a World Cup match, crossing for his third try in the 21st minute.

142 – After featuring against South Africa, Italy captain Sergio Parisse surpassed Brian O'Driscoll (141) to become the outright second-most capped player in Test rugby history behind Richie McCaw, who played 148 times.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, Tonga, USA

20 – Against Argentina, Romain Ntamack, aged 20 years and 143 days, became the youngest player to feature for France in a World Cup match.

88 – Agustin Creevy won his 88th cap for Argentina when he played against England, overtaking Felipe Contepomi as Los Puma's most capped player.

6 – George Ford has been involved in six tries for England, more than any other player, scoring two and providing a tournament-high four assists.

Pool D – Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay

62 – Fiji's Semi Radradra topped the charts for carries (62), metres (400) and defenders beaten (29) in the pool stage.

94 – James Slipper scored his first try for Australia in his 94th Test when the Wallabies faced Uruguay. No player from any nation has played more matches before scoring their first try.

130 – By playing in Wales' win over Australia, Alun Wyn Jones overtook Gethin Jenkins (129) as the most capped Welshman, going on to make his 131st appearance against Fiji.

35 – At the age of 35 years and 186 days, Adam Ashley-Cooper is the oldest Australia player to make a World Cup appearance. He subsequently became their oldest try scorer in World Cup history, and their oldest in any match since 1966.

100 – Warren Gatland's side have won 100 per cent of their matches so far. It is the first time Wales have won all of their pool games since 1987.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis would love to see his team demonstrate the ravenous hunger for runs that Virat Kohli showed for India in the one-sided second Test.

The India skipper set the platform for a dominant victory by making 254 not out in the first innings, as the home team piled up an intimidating 601-5.

After India won the first Test by 203 runs in Visakhapatnam, South Africa were thumped this time by an innings and 137 runs in Pune to surrender the series after being bowled out for 275 and 189.

It was South Africa's heaviest Test defeat to India.

Du Plessis used seven bowlers in an effort to unsettle Kohli on the first two days of the match, but to no avail.

"The way India batted, and especially Virat getting a 250, that takes a lot of mental toughness to put a score like that on the first innings," Du Plessis said.

Kohli's score was his highest in Tests and it took him through the 12,000-run barrier in the five-day game.

"It's trying to stop him," said Du Plessis. "We saw it in the first Test as well [with other India batsmen]. As captain you try to think of ways, how you can change little things, field placements or bowling placements, but he was too good in this Test match.

"All the questions, and all the stuff we threw at him, he had answers for. [He was] just relentless and sticking to his game, and for me what really stuck out from that was a hunger for runs.

"You could see they were determined to score big and not get tired and satisfied of getting a hundred and stopping. It was great value for us as batters – when you're on top of your game, making sure you're really hungry and making sure you can put in big performances that can affect the outcome of the game."

Du Plessis suggested South Africa had found the Kohli experience exhausting.

"Two days in the field, it can wear you down," said Du Plessis. "Since then, it was trying to play catch-up and with a very good India bowling attack. And these conditions, they don’t give you much and you need to be on top of your best game.

"If you're not, you're going to be found wanting, and we were found wanting in this Test match."

South Africa will expect more from their attack in the third and final Test, starting in Ranchi on Saturday.

"All in all, I think India are deservedly Test series winners," said Du Plessis. "They are a very tough team to beat at home and their record speaks for itself. We weren't at our best, so we'll try to make sure we can improve for the next Test."

Virat Kohli turned his attention to securing a whitewash after India consigned South Africa to a record innings-and-137-run defeat on day four of the second Test to win the series.

The struggling tourists were all out for 189 in the final session on Sunday to suffer their heaviest Test loss to India after Kohli enforced the follow-on in Pune.

Umesh Yadav (3-22) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-52) capitalised on the tourists' shortcomings with the bat, while Ravichandran Ashwin took 2-45 after claiming 4-69 in the first innings.

Kohli laid the platform with a Test-best 254 not out and the captain is determined to make it 3-0 in Ranchi with an 11th consecutive home series win in the longest format already in the bag.

Asked about his side's run of series triumphs on home soil, the skipper said: "It's been nice, but looking at the larger picture, the Test Championship, every game has even more value.

"We're not going to take the foot off the gas in the third Test, we're looking for a result again, and hopefully make it 3-0.

"Because these points are important, we understand that, with the Test Championship it's going to be very crucial, at all the stages, when we play away from home as well. And no one's going to relax at any stage, that's a guarantee."

Kohli says he would not have registered an astonishing seven double-centuries without taking an unselfish approach at the crease.

"I think it's getting the responsibility of being captain. If you go out planning a double-hundred, you will not get it. But if you go out planning playing five sessions for your team, invariably you cross that 200 mark as well." said Kohli.

"The mindset has always been to help the team as much as possible, play at the tempo the team requires you to, and in that process, big scores come. The mindset change is the only reason behind the big scores.

"Before that, I used to think from a personal point of view and put pressure on myself. But the moment you start thinking about the team, all the pressure goes away, and all you're thinking is how to contribute to the team's cause."

Umesh Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets apiece as India consigned South Africa to a record innings-and-137-run defeat on day four in Pune to wrap up the Test series with one match to play.

Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on at the start of the penultimate day after the Proteas were bowled out for 275 in their first innings on Saturday in reply to 601-5 declared.

South Africa's shortcomings with the bat were exposed again on Sunday as they were dismissed for only 189, suffering their heaviest defeat to India in the longest format.

Umesh took 3-22 and Jadeja claimed 3-52, while Ravichandran Ashwin (2-45) also did damage as India sealed a record 11th consecutive series on home soil.

India will be out to secure a 3-0 whitewash when the third Test gets under way in Ranchi next Saturday.

 

Ravichandran Ashwin made a crucial breakthrough late on day three as India pressed home their advantage against South Africa in the second Test.

The Proteas started Saturday on 36-3 and were all out for 275 in their first innings by the close of play, still 326 runs behind the hosts in Pune.

It could have been worse for South Africa, but India's bowlers were frustrated by a magnificent 109-run partnership for the ninth wicket between Vernon Philander and Keshav Maharaj that spanned 259 balls.

But India ended the day on top after the impressive Ashwin (4-69) claimed two vital wickets in the final four overs of the day.

South Africa were on 271-8 until Ashwin dismissed Maharaj, who had batted with a sore shoulder for a career-best 72, before the spinner also accounted for number 11 Kagiso Rabada (2), leaving Philander stranded on 44 not out.

Pace bowler Umesh Yadav took 3-37, with India – who declared on 601-5 in their first innings - looking good for a victory that would seal the series.

With two days still to play, their next decision will be whether to enforce the follow-on. 

India captain Virat Kohli, who will make that call, followed up his double-hundred with the bat by taking an early catch on Saturday to remove nightwatchman Anrich Nortje off the bowling of Mohammed Shami (2-44) for 3.

South Africa were in disarray at 53-5 when Theunis de Bruyn was caught behind off Yadav for 30, with captain Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock left to steady the ship somewhat by combining for a quickfire 75.

Ashwin bowled De Kock for 31 before lunch, though, and Senuran Muthusamy (7) was out lbw to Ravindra Jadeja (1-81) in the third over after the interval.

Du Plessis (64) had reached his 21st Test half-century off just 64 balls but his pace slowed from there and, when Ashwin found his outside edge, the Proteas were poised for a collapse at 162-8.

However, Philander and Maharaj had other ideas with a disciplined, dogged partnership amid hot and humid conditions.

Maharaj aggravated his right shoulder – which had been injured while fielding on Friday – as he smacked Shami for four while on 17, but he bravely fought on to earn a first Test half-century in a 132-ball knock.

But Ashwin capped fine outing by having Maharaj caught by Rohit Sharma at leg slip and promptly trapping Rabada in front, with Philander unbeaten having faced 192 deliveries.

Mayank Agarwal saluted the "tremendous" Virat Kohli after the India captain made his highest Test score on a punishing day two for South Africa in Pune.

Kohli crafted 254 not out with support from Ajinkya Rahane (59) and Ravindra Jadeja (91) as India racked up a mammoth 601-5 declared on Friday.

The skipper had not reached three figures in the longest format this year, but posted a seventh double-century and also passed 7,000 Test runs with a masterclass before the tourists were reduced to 36-3 at stumps as India eye an unassailable 2-0 lead.

Agarwal, who scored a hundred on day one, hailed Kohli after he made the Proteas bowlers toil - hitting two sixes and 33 fours in a stunning knock.

"It was a top-class knock from him. To get 250 is no joke and the way he's batting is just tremendous." the opener said.

"The positivity he gets, the intent he gets is fabulous. His records and his scores and the way he's playing shows everything we all need to see."

Agarwal says the rapid rate in which Kohli and Jadeja scored during a fifth-wicket stand of 225 could prove to be vital.

He added: "It's put us in the driving seat and it's not just the amount of runs, it's the pace that the runs have come that has made a huge difference. It's giving us extra time, that extra session and a half that can become very crucial."

South Africa interim director Enoch Nkwe pointed the finger of blame at the seam bowlers at the end of a gruelling second day.

"We've only got ourselves to blame this morning. We thought the conditions were conducive to seam bowling, we just didn't hit our straps." Nkwe said.

"We bowled a little bit too wide and didn't test the Indian batters enough and when we do that we just allow the batters to get in and we need to learn tight lines for a longer period of time."

Virat Kohli made his highest Test score with a domineering unbeaten double-century as India piled on the runs before South Africa lost three wickets on a one-sided day two in Pune.

Kohli reached three figures for the first time in the longest format this year and went on to make his seventh Test double-century with the tourists toiling in the heat on Friday.

The India captain crafted a magnificent 254 not out that included two sixes and 33 fours, before declaring with his team on a mammoth 601-5, with Ravindra Jadeja (91) and Ajinkya Rahane (59) making half-centuries on a flat pitch.

Kohli passed 7,000 Test runs and was given a life when he edged Senuran Muthusamy to Faf du Plessis on 208 as the spinner over-stepped.

South Africa face a battle to avoid going 2-0 down in the three-match series after they were reduced to 36-3 at stumps, Umesh Yadav (2-16) and Mohammed Shami making inroads.

The Proteas were unable to claim a breakthrough in the morning session after India resumed on 273-3 and Kohli brought up his 26th Test hundred with an exquisite straight drive for four off Vernon Philander.

Rahane took a liking to the pace of Anrich Nortje as he accumulated runs steadily, reaching his half-century in the morning session before India took lunch in command on 356-3.

Kohli punched Kagiso Rabada for two glorious boundaries in an over but a fourth-wicket stand of 178 ended when Rahane was caught behind to become Keshav Maharaj's 100th victim in the longest format.

Rabada's frustration mounted as Jadeja joined Kohli to continue piling on the runs, the skipper moving on to 150 as the Proteas attack suffered.

Jadeja came in with a license to swing and did just that, the boundaries flowing with Kohli having some luck as he cut just past Du Plessis at first slip on more than one occasion.

Du Plessis held on to seemingly remove Kohli shortly after he had tickled Muthusamy around the corner to bring up his double-century, but the captain was given a reprieve as the left-arm tweaker's front foot was well over the line.

Jadeja treated the crowd to his sword celebration after dispatching Aiden Markram to the ropes twice in an over before both the all-rounder and Kohli clattered Maharaj for six with disdain.

Kohli had 250 to his name when he slapped Dean Elgar over midwicket for four and declared after Jadeja holed out attempting to hit Muthusamy for six.

Umesh then did damage with the new ball, trapping Markram leg before without score before Elgar played on and Temba Bavuma edged Shami's first ball behind to put South Africa deeper in the mire.

Mayank Agarwal continued his fine form as his century helped India take a commanding position at the end of day one of the second Test against South Africa.

Agarwal - who amassed 215 in the first innings of the first Test as India claimed a resounding win - hit 108 from 195 deliveries in Pune on Thursday.

He was ably supported by Cheteshwar Pujara (58) and India captain Virat Kohli (63 not out), as the hosts reached stumps on 273-3.

There was one bright spot for South Africa, with Kagiso Rabada taking all three of their wickets, although the paceman will need support if Faf du Plessis' side are to prevent India posting a huge total.

While Agarwal took some time to get into his stride, his partner Rohit Sharma was swiftly on the attack before his wicket fell when Rabada drew an edge that carried through to Quinton de Kock.

Three boundaries in one over saw Agarwal take the fight back to South Africa before lunch, however, and he brought up his fifty with a perfectly timed cut shot early in the afternoon session.

Pujara was looking equally as sharp at the other end, registering his half-century in style with two fours following a six.

The partnership ended when Rabada struck again, Pujara fishing at a wide, short delivery the he edged to Du Plessis.

Keshav Maharaj was smashed for two successive maximums as Agarwal moved on to 99 - India's opener steering Vernon Philander for a boundary to surpass 100 in the next over.

Agarwal's innings was halted by Du Plessis' smart catch from another Rabada delivery soon afterwards, though Kohli took up the mantle - scoring 26 off 19 balls to bring up another half-century and steer India into a strong position heading into day two.

Virat Kohli leapt to the defence of India team-mate Rohit Sharma, urging people to "give the guy a break" ahead of the second Test with South Africa.

Sharma hit consecutive centuries in the first meeting as India romped to a 203-run victory in the three-match series.

That fine display arrived at a time when his form in the longest format was coming under intense scrutiny, although he was the top run scorer at the Cricket World Cup. 

Captain Kohli now wants Rohit to be given the chance to enjoy his cricket in the Test arena once again.

"Come on, give the guy a break now," he said ahead of the second Test in Pune, which begins on Thursday. 

"You know he's done well, let him enjoy his batting, let him have fun like he does in white-ball cricket. Stop focusing on what's Rohit's going to do in Tests.

"I think he's in a great space, he's playing really well. He looked relaxed in the first game which is great to see.

"The experience he's accumulated over the years came to the fore."

Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis saw his side concede the initiative on day one of the first Test, with India racking up 317 runs before losing a wicket.

The hosts went on to declare on 502-7, leaving South Africa with a mountain to climb and it was a summit they could not scale.

However, Du Plessis is confident his team will bounce back.

"Obviously, we didn't get 20 wickets in the previous match, that is something that we aware of and something that we are trying to fix," he said.

"At the end of the day, taking wickets wins you Test matches so our thinking will be trying to pick players that can influence the game and win matches for the team.

"We are a team that is very resilient and we come back almost always."

The tourists will need to overcome the considerable weight of recent history if they are to triumph overall, with India looking to extend their eight-series winning streak on home soil in Tests.

India have not lost a home Test series since 2012, when England prevailed. 

Dale Steyn hopes a stint with Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League can boost his chances of representing South Africa at next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

Veteran paceman Steyn missed the 2019 Cricket World Cup due to a shoulder injury and announced his retirement from Tests in August.

With the Proteas taking on England in four Tests across December and January, the 36-year-old has been granted leave for the Stars' first six games – the last of which is the derby with Melbourne Renegades at the MCG on January 4.

That is exactly one month before the white-ball leg of England's tour to South Africa, and Steyn hopes the BBL experience will help him achieve his ultimate goal of representing his country.

"This is the first year where the cricket schedule gives me the opportunity to come down and enjoy everything Melbourne has to offer," said Steyn.

"Having watched closely from afar, the BBL is a top tournament which has a great reputation overseas. I love cricket and want to make a difference in any team that I am playing for. I have had time to get fit and have been bowling for two months now. I can't wait to get over there and get going.

"Obviously the first prize is always to play for your country. Representing South Africa is the only thing I've ever done for my whole career so far, so to get back into that team is prize number one.

"They're pretty tight on not allowing players to go and play in the Big Bash, but knowing that I'm not available for the Tests, wanting to keep me fit, and also having one eye on the Twenty20 World Cup at the backend of next year, they probably felt like it was a good call.

"Which is great because it keeps me in the running for that World Cup. If I can go over to Australia and get some more experience in those conditions, that could be beneficial."

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."

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."

South Africa delivered a statement of intent as they thrashed Canada 66-7 to book their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals in style.

Rassie Erasmus insisted there would be no drop off in quality for his Springboks side despite a raft of changes, and his expectations were met as South Africa ran riot in Kobe.

An 11-minute hat-trick by Cobus Reinach - the earliest in World Cup history - was the highlight of a sensational first-half performance, with the Springboks' evening made easier when Canada had Josh Larsen sent off as South Africa held a 47-0 lead at half-time.

Matt Heaton grabbed a consolation as Canada managed to stem the green-and-gold tide despite their numerical disadvantage in the second half, though South Africa still capped off a successful Pool B campaign.

South Africa started as they meant to go on, RG Snyman's breakthrough paving the way for Damian De Allende, one of two players to retain their place for the Springboks, to barge over in the third minute, with Elton Jantjies adding the extras.

S'Busiso Nkosi's wicked turn of pace did for Canada's defence, before Reinach displayed brilliant skill to latch onto his own kick and race over for a third Springboks try with less than 10 minutes played.

Reinach dived in for a second moments later, following another Snyman break, and he became the fifth South African player to score a World Cup hat-trick when he burst in from the right in the 20th minute.

South Africa's scrum-half turned provider for his team's sixth try, powering away to find De Allende, whose quick pass was pounced on by Warrick Gelant.

Canada's misery was compounded before the break - substitute Larsen seeing red for an illegal shoulder charge just short of South Africa's line - before Frans Steyn, a World Cup winner in 2007, went over following an interception on the stroke of half-time.

Against the odds, Canada got on the scoresheet six minutes after the restart, Heaton bundling over to restore some pride.

Veteran Schalk Brits nosed South Africa above 50, though his match - potentially his final Springboks appearance - was ended through injury soon after.

Damian Willemse strolled in for his first international try with 14 minutes to go and Frans Malherbe rounded off a supreme display as South Africa moved top of Pool B.

 

Reinach runs riot

The scrum-half surely did enough to secure his place in Erasmus' side for the quarter-finals with an exhilarating individual display.

His first try was the pick of the bunch as, having picked a gap in Canada's ragged line, the 29-year-old lobbed a perfect kick over the last defender before taking it on the bounce and cruising over next to the posts.

Erasmus' back-up brigade stake their claim

South Africa's coach had no concerns about trusting his fringe players for Tuesday's encounter and his faith was rewarded in emphatic fashion.

While the Springboks will be presented with a much tougher opponent in the last eight, Erasmus will have plenty of food for thought when it comes to his team selection.

What's next?

South Africa's victory will not be enough to see them top Pool B if, as expected, New Zealand beat Italy on Saturday, though it is still up in the air as to whether it will be Japan, Ireland or Scotland who await the Springboks in the last eight.

Canada end their campaign against Namibia on Sunday.

South Africa boss Rassie Erasmus expects no drop in quality from his much-changed side when they take on Canada in the Rugby World Cup.

Erasmus has made 13 changes for Tuesday's Pool B encounter in Kobe, with a victory likely to be enough to secure their place in the quarter-finals.

The Springboks are level on points with Italy, though the Azzurri have to play reigning champions New Zealand in their final pool outing.

But despite only Damian de Allende and captain Siya Kolisi retaining their places, Erasmus is anticipating his fringe players will step up in a bid to secure a place in the quarter-final team should South Africa progress.

"The team's make-up is a bit different, but we expect the same intensity," Erasmus said.

"It doesn't help if we get a good score but we don't really improve in all the areas.

"And one of the areas which will be vital going into the knockout stages is intensity and big moments, and the intensity at which quarter-final and semi-final rugby is being played.

"If this team doesn't at least match that or step up, they will struggle to stay in team selection and make the team. They know that, and that will be one of the challenges."

South Africa were defeated by New Zealand in their opening fixture but bounced back with comprehensive victories over Namibia and Italy.

Erasmus paid tribute to the tier-two nations, believing World Rugby's work to develop the lower-ranked countries has paid dividends in Japan.

"Credit to World Rugby, if you just look at Namibia, Canada, Japan, they were walkovers," he added.

"But if you look at the phases Canada produced against Italy, and how they botched a few tries – they could've scored four or five really good tries.

"Overall, what World Rugby put into the tier-two nations is really great, and we've put a lot of time into Canada because if you take your eye off them, there might be one or two little errors and they get a sniff.

"They are tough and physical – we know the type of sports they are used to. They are physical men and will give themselves a chance."

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Africa - Siya Kolisi

Erasmus believes his captain is back to his best and, after the 28-year-old impressed against Italy, Kolisi will be eager to maintain his form by taking the Canada match by the scruff of the neck.

Canada - Andrew Coe

Coe is the only Canada player to score a try in Japan, having crossed after coming on as a replacement in the 48-7 defeat to Italy. The full-back has now been handed a chance to impress from the start in Canada's penultimate appearance.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- This will be the third meeting between South Africa and Canada in Test rugby, the Springboks won the previous clashes (20-0 in 1995 and 51-18 in 2000).

- South Africa have won 18 of their 19 Rugby World Cup matches against tier-two opposition. Their only defeat came against Japan in 2015.

- Canada's 63-0 defeat to New Zealand was only the second time they have been kept scoreless in a World Cup match. The previous occasion came against South Africa in 1995.

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