South Africa 34-16 Scotland: Springboks back on course with comfortable win
- Greig Laidlaw sin-binned in the second half for cynical foul
- Bismarck du Plessis’ and winger JP Pietersen score first half tries for South Africa
- Duncan Weir crosses the whitewash for the Dark Blues’ only score of the game after the break
- 21-year-old fly-half Handre Pollard kicks a total of 19 points for the Springboks
- Speedster Bryan Habana touches down to become third highest try scorer in Test history
South Africa got their Rugby World Cup campaign back on course as they bullied their way to victory with an imposing display against Scotland at St James Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Dark Blues’ struggled to engross themselves on the game until after the break but had left themselves with too much to do following a mediocre first half performance.
South Africa in truth totally dominated the opening 40 minutes, scoring two tries through Bismarck du Plessis’ and winger JP Pietersen.
The Springboks, as a result, led 20-3 at the break with fly-half Handre Pollard making up their total with two conversions and two penalties while Scotland Captain Greig Laidlaw scored his side’s only points from the tee.
After the restart Laidlaw kicked another three-pointer before converting Tom Seymour’s try to cut the Springboks lead to seven points. But the Scotland skipper was then sin-binned with Pollard and Duncan Weir trading penalties in the scrum-half’s absence, 23-16.
Pollard then kicked two further penalties to stretch the Springboks lead to 13 points before a trademark score from speedster Bryan Habana secured the win for South Africa. Pollard couldn’t convert, but it didn’t matter as the Springboks had the job done.
The Springboks opened the try scoring after 12 minutes with Bismarck du Plessis’ being the one to get his hand on the ball and ground it as a pile of bodies scrambled for it. And Pollard’s conversion was successful to give South Africa a seven-point lead.
Pollard added two penalties to extend the Springboks lead before Laidlaw replied with a kick of his own to get Scotland on the board, 13-3.
South Africa then lost Jannie du Plessis after 34 minutes, as he was sin-binned for tackling without his arms.
But it would be the Springboks to touch down again before half-time as after a powerful rolling maul does the majority of the work the ball is popped out to JP Pietersen, who had the simplest of finishes. Pollard then added the conversion to give South Africa a 20-3 lead at half-time.
Laidlaw kicked another penalty after the restart for Scotland before Duncan Weir glided past a few defenders, laying the ball off to Seymour, who was able to dive over from close range. And Laidlaw converted to cut the gap even further, 20-13.
Pollard then edged the Springboks further in front with a drop-goal before Scotland Captain Laidlaw was sin-binned for cynically bringing down Pietersen.
Fly-half Weir responded with a penalty on the hour mark to bring Scotland back within a converted try for the second time, 23-16.
But two quickfire penalties from Pollard edged South Africa 13 points ahead before the Springboks secured the win with their third and final try after 73 minutes. Schalk Burger had broken through the Scottish line before he offloaded to winger Habana, who had the simple job of sliding over into the corner.
This time, though Pollard couldn’t convert, yet it didn’t matter as the Springboks had got the job done.