Sport Rugby

Monday 19 March 2018

Boks punish error-ridden Scotland

Scotland 0 South Africa 28

Andy Newport

Scotland suffered a painful defeat as they were utterly outclassed by South Africa at Murrayfield. The Dark Blues lasted less than five minutes before handing control to the Springboks as flanker Willem Alberts crossed for the first try.

And despite some determined defence, things only got worse for the hosts, who simply lacked the basic skills to take on the world's No 2 ranked team.

Ruaridh Jackson's slip let in Willie Le Roux for a second try on 29 minutes before the full-back played in JP Pietersen for a third moments later to leave Scotland trailing 21-0 – Pat Lambie converted all three tries.

Another Jackson error saw South Africa score a fourth try 13 minutes after the break as replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen barged over from a line-out to complete a resounding defeat for Scott Johnson's men.

It was a far cry from the sides' last meeting in June, when Scotland were beaten but unbowed as they went down 30-17 having led by 11 points early in the second half.

Stand-in skipper Greig Laidlaw said before the game that his side were capable of competing against the top southern hemisphere nations but that claim quickly unravelled.

On the few occasions when the hosts did manage to gain territory – if basic errors did not let them down – a lack of inspiration ultimately cost them against a thoroughly well-drilled opposition.

Scotland – S Maitland; T Seymour (M Evans 64), N De Luca, D Taylor, S Lamont; R Jackson (D Weir 54), G Laidlaw (C Cusiter 69); A Dickinson (R Grant 54), R Ford (S Lawson 54), M Low, R Gray (J Gray 62), J Hamilton, A Strokosch, J Barclay (J Beattie 64), D Denton.

South Africa – W Le Roux; JP Pietersen, J Fourie, J De Villiers (JJ Englebrecht 71) B Habana; P Lambie, D Du Preez (R Pienaar 64); G Steenkamp (T Mtawarira 54), A Strauss (B Du Plessis 60), F Malherbe (C Oosthuizen 37), B Botha (E Etzebeth 59), F Van der Merwe, F Louw, W Alberts (M Coetzee 40), D Vermeulen.

Ref – J Garces (France).

Irish Independent

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