The Springboks scored eight tries in their 55-6 demolition of Scotland in Port Elizabeth on Saturday. JON CARDINELLI reports.
There were moments in this contest where the Boks lacked accuracy, but what the hosts never wanted for at any point was physicality and attacking intent.
The Bok scrum creaked and the lineout wobbled, but the set-piece inaccuracies were to be expected given the number of enforced changes made to the starting XV. It said much for the Bok forwards' display at the tackle and the back's decision-making out wide that they were still able to inflict so much damage.
Victor Matfield made the Boks' intent clear from as early as the fourth minute, turning down a shot at goal and instructing flyhalf Handré Pollard to set the lineout. The Boks would score several phases later through flank Marcell Coetzee, who played one of his best games in a Bok jersey.
Pollard enjoyed a dream debut. Some will say that every flyhalf will thrive when he playing behind a dominant pack, but Pollard's option-taking, particularly in the first 20 minutes where the Boks scored three brilliant tries, was nothing short of outstanding.
Not that the rampant Boks' needed it, but Pollard kicked well from the tee. Six of his eight attempts were successful, and he finished the game with a personal tally of 13 points.
There was a period before and after half-time where the Scots dug their heels in, and kept the Boks relatively quiet. But Scotland were also guilty of conceding a number of penalties at the tackle, and some overly robust play would result in lock Tim Swinson spending time in the sin bin.
This provided the Boks with an opportunity to regroup. Their lineout finally fired, and a successful driving maul allowed Coetzee to collect another try. Lwazi Mvovo also bagged his second of the game when he swooped on a loose ball and ran 70m to score.
Coach Heyneke Meyer emptied his bench in the final 10 minutes, and this compromised the Boks' attacking momentum to some extent. However, Scotland could not stop Lood de Jager, another newcomer who was outstanding, grabbing his second, and edging the Boks beyond the 50-point mark.
The result ensures that the Boks finish the June Test series with a three from three record. The series has also confirmed that the Boks have plenty of quality in depth, and that some of the fringe players, Pollard in particular, have a very promising future in the green and gold.
Springboks – Tries: Marcell Coetzee (2), Willie le Roux, Lwazi Mvovo (2), JP Pietersen, Lood de Jager (2). Conversions: Handré Pollard (5), Marntiz Boshoff. Penalty: Pollard.
Scotland – Penalties: Duncan Weir (2).
Springboks – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcel Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Lood de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Tebogo 'Oupa' Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Zane Kirchner.
Scotland – 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Grant Gilchrist (c), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Subs: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Moray Low, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Dougie Fife, 23 Peter Murchie.
Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images