Scots edged out by Springboks

Kettle Collective


South Africa edged out Scotland 26-20 in a thrilling Test match at BT Murrayfield on Saturday evening.

The Scots may well rue the decision to not kick a penalty that could have made it 23-23 around the hour mark, but over the piece the visitors just about deserved their victory for their physicality and flashes of quality.

South Africa took the lead after six minutes thanks to a very well worked team try.

It owed much to the break of scrum-half Embrose Papier and was finished off by centre Jesse Kriel. Stand-off Pollard converted.

They almost made it two tries in the 14th minute after a wayward kick by Scotland stand-off Finn Russell.

The South Africans pounced and, after a couple of phases, their loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff went close.

Scotland levelled things in the 17th minute with a cracking move.

Centre Huw Jones set winger Sean Maitland off on his way and then the ball made its way back to Jones who fed fellow centre Pete Horne for the try. After the TMO confirmed the score, scrum-half  Laidlaw converted.

No sooner was it 7-7 then it was 14-7 to South Africa.

They turned the ball over in the Scotland half, quickly shipped it wide and Pollard gliding in for the try. The same man converted and Scotland were learning quickly not to give up cheap possession.

A Pollard penalty in the 25th minute made it 17-7 before Laidlaw replied two minutes later to leave things at 17-10.

An electric break down the left from full-back Stuart Hogg earned Scotland a lineout deep in opposition territory.

From that lineout a planned move saw back-row Hamish Watson gather the ball at the front and go over for his side’s second try. Laidlaw converted and it was 17-17.

Pollard’s second penalty made it 20-17 at the break.

South Africa were down to 14 men after 45 minutes, full-back Willie le Roux adjudged to have deliberately knocked on Horne’s looping pass.

Laidlaw kicked the resultant penalty and it was 20-20.

Three minutes later Pollard’s third penalty made it 23-20 to the visitors before another in the 54th minute hit the upright.

Just before the hour mark Scotland turned down a kickable penalty and a few moments later Russell’s drop goal attempt went just wide.

Their talisman Hogg was also forced off with what looked like an ankle injury.

Pollard missed another penalty as the game was on a knife edge heading into the final 13 minutes.

With eight minutes to go South Africa secured a hammer blow when replacement Elton Jantjies kicked a long range penalty to make it 26-20.

And, despite Scotland’s best efforts, that was how it finished up.


Tennent’s Man of the Match Handre Pollard

“Scotland are a very tough team, especially at home and we really had to dig deep for that one.

“There’s a long way to go and a lot of lessons to learn but it’s nice to get a couple of wins on the road. Head coach Rassie Erasmus is bringing back the real culture of the Springboks. We are playing with heart and we just want to make the people proud back home.”

Handre Pollard by David Gibson FOTOSPORT

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw

“It’s quite frustrating. We couldn’t really generate the speed of ball in the second half, but you have to credit South Africa and the way they defended.

“Potentially, yes [Scotland could have kicked for goal just before the hour mark], but you have got to be brave to win Test matches. We had enough opportunities to put points on the board off the back of that. We just needed to execute.

“They went and scored again anyway so we’d have probably needed to score again ourselves.

“We are disappointed, but we need to look at ourselves and make sure we generate quick ball.”



Scotland: Hogg (Harris 63); Seymour, Jones, Horne, (Hastings 67), Maitland; Russell, Laidlaw (C) (Price 63); Reid (Dell 44), McInally (Brown 55) Nel (Berghan 55), Toolis, Gray, Skinner (Ritchie 73), Watson, Wilson (Strauss 55).

South Africa: le Roux; Nkosi (Kolbe 63), Kriel, de Allende (Jantjies 55), Dyantyi; Pollard, Papier (van Zyl 77); Kitshoff (T du Toit 58), Marx (Mbonambi 66), Malherbe (Koch 58), Snyman (de Jager 60), Mostert, Kolisi (C) (Louw 66), P du Toit, Vermeulen.


Scotland: Tries: Horne (17), Watson (34). Pens: Laidlaw (27, 46). Cons: Laidlaw (17, 34).

South Africa: Tries: Kriel (6), Pollard (20). Pens: Pollard (25, 38, 49), Jantjies (72). Cons: Pollard (6, 20).

Yellow cards: South Africa: le Roux (45).

Red cards: none.

Tennent’s Man of the Match: Pollard (South Africa).

Referee: Poite (France)

Attendance: 67, 144.

Thanks to Scottish Rugby’s Twitter feed and David Gibson/FOTOSPORT for the images

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