KOBE – Hard to believe you could make history at the Rugby World Cup and not even know it but that is what South Africa scrumhalf Cobus Reinach, did against Canada at the Kobe Misaki Stadium on Tuesday.
Reinach stormed to the quickest try hattrick scored by an individual at a Rugby World Cup when he took just 20 minutes to cross three times in the 66-7 win over Canada.
The bonus-point victory secured a quarter-final spot for the Boks, and also served as a reminder to coach Rassie Erasmus of Reinach’s talent.
The 29-year-old scrumhalf, who was left out of the squad for RWC 2015, made up for lost time with a classy display against the Canucks.
His blistering speed led to his first try, which was completed with a brilliant chip and re-gather over Canada winger Jeff Hassler. Reinach then darted over from close range, and grabbed the hat-trick by running a good support line off Damian de Allende.
"I only realised (that he had scored the earliest World Cup hat-trick) once I came off the pitch. I was just happy with the tries. I was trying to get my heart rate down, so I wasn’t counting anything," he said.
"At training, it happened once or twice and I tried the outside, and it didn’t work, so, I tried the chip instead. We went in with the mindset of how we want to play going forward, and we delivered that quite well in the first half."
Erasmus also praised the Northampton Saints halfback.
"Everybody knows Cobus’s X factor. The moment he sniffs some space, he’s got exceptional speed. He didn’t get a lot of game time with us in the build-up to the World Cup but he’s got good anticipation," the coach said.
Despite that praise, Reinach who is the son of late former Springbok Jaco Reinach, will struggle to leapfrog either Faf de Klerk or Herschel Jantjies in the South Africa scrumhalf pecking order for the quarter-finals.
But he is happy to play his part in the success of the Springboks. "If you look at the team we put out, stuff will happen on the pitch, people will make breaks and have their little circus tricks," Reinach said.
"I just focused on what I need to do, and the tries came with a little bit of luck. We just want to make the boat go faster as a team. I am happy with how the game went, and the whole team played unbelievably well."
African News Agency (ANA)