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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 November, 2003, 12:48 GMT
Hougaard's Samoan smash
BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer
By Bryn Palmer
BBC Sport, Australia

Derick Hougaard is tackled by Brian Lima
Derick Hougaard feels the full force of Brian Lima's tackle

Springboks fly-half Derick Hougaard is unlikely to forget his appointment with 'The Chiropractor' in a hurry.

The bruising to his chest should serve as a reminder for a few days, not to mention the whiplash and the stiff neck.

The moment the 20-year-old's world "went dark" came after 62 minutes of an otherwise seamless initiation into big-time rugby on a balmy Brisbane evening.

But then the South Africa stand-off attempted to juggle a pass from Joost van der Westhuizen, and was promptly sent hurtling into the middle of next week.

Samoa centre Brian Lima, whose nickname stems from a propensity for rearranging opponents' bones, hit Hougaard with a tackle that will go down in World Cup folklore.

"I was winded a bit, and it all went dark for a while," Hougard told this website.

"I had to lie on the ground for a few minutes just to get my breath back.

"I am still here so that is a good sign but it was definitely the hardest tackle I have ever taken."

Van der Westhuzien later joked his pass was "just part of the initiation" for Hougard, who, apart from that obvious discomfort, passed his test with flying colours.

A couple of errant drop goal attempts aside, coming after one superbly struck opening effort, the youngster did everything asked of him in only his fourth Test.

Faced with the ignominy of an early exit before the business end of the World Cup, Corne Krige's men had the game won inside the first 25 minutes

He scored a neatly-taken try, kicked six out of six attempts at goal, and liberated a Springboks backline that had hitherto appeared devoid of menace.

Whether it will stand up under pressure from the All Blacks next week is another matter, but for the moment South Africa can afford a collective wry smile.

Faced with the ignominy of an early exit before the business end of the World Cup, Corne Krige's men had the game won inside the first 25 minutes.

The front five were immense, heaping untold pressure on Samoa's scrummage, while locks Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha dominated the line-outs.

And the back trio of Juan Smith, Joe van Niekerk and Krige, bolstered by the impressive Danie Rossouw from the bench, enhanced their growing reputation.

Alongside Van der Westhuizen, they exposed glaring holes on the Samoan blindside early on, and thereafter strangled the life out of the ever-willing Pacific Islanders.

Unfortunately for the majority of the 48,496 crowd, the people's favourites were a shadow of the side that gave England such a scare.

For the first hour in Melbourne, everything they tried came off, but at the Suncorp Stadium they appeared mentally and physically shot for the opening 40 minutes.

The ferocious, in-your-face defence that stunned England was conspicuously absent, while optimism quickly ebbed away in a litany of handling errors.

Maurie Fa'asavlu
Maurie Fa'asavlu looks destined for a move to Super 12 or Europe
But for a whirlwind 10 minutes after they interval, they played it fast and loose, thrilling the crowd as they tried to wrench control of the game away from South Africa.

Captain Semo Sititi provided a marvellous lead, while back-row sidekick Maurie Fa'asavlu is surely destined for a future in Europe or the Super 12.

But the Springboks weathered the storm, and Hougaard's penalty knocked the stuffing out of Samoa, shortly before Lima knocked the stuffing out of him.

A 50-point defeat, their record loss at a World Cup, was a wretched way for them to depart a tournament they have lit up with their flair.

As the two teams joined in a circle at the final whistle and swapped shirts and prayers, one hoped they offered up one for Samoa's future prosperity.

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