Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries to help the Springboks claim a dominant 30-15 victory over Scotland in Edinburgh on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Matchflow: The first half largely followed the pattern of the Boks’ win over Wales in Cardiff. While the Springbok pack was utterly dominant, winning penalty after penalty at the scrum, they struggled to convert that dominance into points. Credit has to be given to an aggressive Scotland defence, which stood tall under pressure in the 22 and repelled maul after maul and carry after carry.
Questions could also be asked of the Bok halfback pairing. Herschel Jantjies was ponderous at the breakdown, allowing Scotland’s defence to set, while the Springboks initially refused to take shots at goal as they were on Elton Jantjies’ weaker left side of the field.
Scotland drew first blood against the run of play after Duhan van der Merwe broke from inside the 22 and won a penalty, which Finn Russell converted. The Springboks levelled the scores when Jantjies slotted a penalty from straight in front of the poles.
The Boks managed to take the lead for the first time when excellent work on the transition from a Lukhanyo Am turnover had Mapimpi scoring out wide. However, that work was quickly undone as Stuart Hogg finished off a sensational move started by a cross-field kick by Russell, putting Scotland 10-8 up at the break.
It was a much better start for the Springboks in the second half. From another transition, in another attack Damian de Allende charged forward through an outside gap and then offloaded to put Mapimpi in for his second try. Elton Jantjies missed the conversion, but nailed his next two penalty attempts to give the Boks an 11-point lead.
However, just when it seemed South Africa were beginning to turn the knife, Scotland hit back as a wonderfully worked move from a five-metre lineout, assisted by Van der Merwe, put Hogg in for his second try and cut the lead to six points.
After replacing Jantjies, Pollard slotted his second penalty attempt to make it a nine-point game, with just over 10 minutes to play. Frans Steyn, who replaced Le Roux, then slotted a penalty from just over the halfway line, before a powerful scrum allowed Pollard to all but seal the match with a successful penalty attempt.
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