Outclassed Scotland put to the sword
June 28, 2014
Coenie Oosthuizen is stopped in his tracks
© Getty Images
South Africa ran in eight tries as they beat Scotland 55-6 in their one-off Test in Port Elizabeth. The tourists went into the game seeking to extend their run of victories in America, Canada and Argentina but fielding a weakened side they were outgunned from the off. The Springboks ran riot in the first and final quarters, while their cast-iron defence made sure there was no consolation reply for a young Scottish side.
While it was impressive stuff from South Africa, the best that could be said for the Scots was that they were gutsy - but totally outgunned. Again, mistakes made sure the tourists could not capitalise on the few hints of a half-chance they created.
Both sides had gone into the match with largely experimental teams, though South Africa had a major advantage in terms of experience with 502 caps in their starting line-up compared with Scotland's 275.
Both sides were blooding one new cap in the starting line-up. Glasgow Warriors number eight Adam Ashe came in for Scotland, with junior world player of the year Handre Pollard at fly-half for the hosts.
The question mark over the Scots had been whether their largely untested middle section of the side would perform well - none of the players wearing the shirts between four and 12 had more than 15 caps and most of them were still in single figures.
At the start the Scots twice allowed South Africa through the first tackle, including a confidence-boosting cut through the middle for Pollard only a couple of touches into his first Test.
Penalties came but the hosts refused the easy points and went for the line-out and inevitable rolling maul. The first go was stopped but they kept pounding the Scots line and eventually flanker Marcell Coetzee forced his way over with Pollard adding the conversion.
Scotland did manage to claw their way back with a Duncan Weir penalty but the ease with which South Africa were breaking the defence - and the penalty count against the Scots - were ominous. Centre Jan Serfontein came on the crash ball to set the Scots on the back foot and full-back Willie Le Roux finished with style just inside the touchline. Pollard again added the extras.
The Scots did have a couple of sniffs at the home line but managed to lose the ball both times, and soon were back defending with Serfontein crashing through to cause enough mayhem in the Scots defence for Le Roux to score.
Bad was soon worse as centre JP Pietersen cut cleanly through and his chip ahead was perfectly placed for wing Lwazi Mvovo to beat the Scots' cover to the ball and cross for the third try inside the first quarter.
Staring at the possibility of a rout, the Scots tightened their game and did manage to secure more ball - partly because the home side started to make the odd mistake and partly as their own back row began to win the odd turnover. With a secure scrum and solid line-out, Scotland took the game to South Africa but crucial mistakes cost them the chance to benefit until Weir added a second penalty just before the break.
The second half, however, mirrored the first with Scots mistakes and South African speed and power getting the scoreboard back on the move. Pollard started the points spree with a penalty before Coetzee was the man on the back of a rolling maul to claim his second try.
Soon after that the floodgates opened as Tim Swinson was sent to the sin bin - and the 14-man Scots had no answer. Pietersen found space out wide and his floated pass beat Tommy Seymour's attempt to intercept, to lay on a score for Cornal Hendricks on his first international start. Then Mvovo intercepted as the Scots tried to open out and raced clear to score in front of a crowd of more than 40,000.
The seventh try came when the Scots failed to take a high ball and lock Lodewyk De Jager ran the loose ball back for a 66th-minute touchdown on his first start. De Jager then found himself in the right place in the 78th minute to capitalise on a Hendricks break and crash over for the eighth Springbok try.
Lwazi Mvovo crosses for South Africa's third score © Getty Images
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