Monday 20 November 2017

Willie le Roux inspires Boks to facile win over Scotland

South Africa's Willie le Roux scores a try against Scotland during their rugby union match at Murrayfield
South Africa's Willie le Roux scores a try against Scotland during their rugby union match at Murrayfield

A stunning first-half display from fullback Willie le Roux helped South Africa to a comfortable 28-0 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield today.

The Scots looked to have fought back from Willem Alberts's early try and were attempting to gain a foothold in the match when le Roux, playing just his 11th test, scored an opportunist try.

He then brilliantly set up JP Pietersen for another in a three-minute period that effectively sealed the match before halftime.

Scotland suffered from a misfiring lineout, losing five throws in the first 40 minutes, while the Springboks, who had veteran lock Bakkies Botha playing his first test since the 2011 World Cup, allowed their backline to flourish on the back of a strong forward effort.

The visitors dominated early possession and territory, and Scotland had barely touched the ball when they fell behind after four minutes when Alberts drove through weak defence from a lineout.

Scotland slowly dragged themselves back into the contest through dogged defence, but their first real attacking effort was thwarted when Sean Maitland failed to control a pass from Ruaridh Jackson just after the half-hour mark, allowing le Roux to scoop up the ball and race 60 metres to score.

Le Roux then turned creator from the restart, easing through a gap in the defence before stepping another attempted tackle and kicking ahead for wing Pietersen, who celebrated his 50th cap by shrugging off the covering defence to score in the corner.

Scotland showed more attacking endeavour in the second half despite the poor condition of the pitch but failed to seriously threaten the South Africa line, and they once again paid the price when replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen drove over on the back of another dominant lineout after 52 minutes.

The hosts were boosted by a yellow card to replacement flanker Marcell Coetzee with 10 minutes remaining following a series of infringements, but despite playing with only 14 men the Springboks defence held firm.

David Denton went close to earning Scotland a try but was tackled into the touch by Pietersen, while Max Evans was denied by the outstretched hand of Bryan Habana following a lengthy injury break for flanker Francois Louw, who was taken off by stretcher after contact with Jim Hamilton.

Scotland host Australia in their final November international next week. South Africa take on France in Paris.

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