South Africa vs Scotland, Sat, 03/10/2015 - 16:45

South Africa
34 - 16
Full time
Scotland
Saturday, 3 October, 2015 - 16:45 | St James Park

Scotland’s match against South Africa in Pool B of the Rugby World Cup was always going to be one of the highlights of the tournament and the game didn’t disappoint.

It was South Africa who got out of the blocks the quickest and throughout the match they managed to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

The Springboks scored two first-half tries with Bismarck Du Plessis and J.P. Pietersen getting over the line before the break and stand-off Handre Pollard kicking the rest of South Africa’s points to leave Scotland with it all to do.

A Tommy Seymour try in the second-half gave Scotland hope, but in the end the Springboks closed out the win with two second-half penalties and a drop goal from Pollard, combined with a Bryan Habana try.

The first score of the match came after just 12 minutes at a noisy St James’ Park with South Africa bundling over the line and referee Nigel Owens awarding the score, despite calling in the services of the TMO to check the grounding of the ball.

Pollard’s successful conversion gave South African a narrow lead and the fly-half added to it a few minutes later with a straightforward penalty.

It was a physical encounter and despite enjoying spells of possession Scotland were unable to break the South Africa defence down and the Springboks were awarded another penalty after 25 minutes, this time in front of the posts, which Pollard dually converted.

Captain Greig Laidlaw kicked Scotland’s first points of the game after 29 minutes and moments later South Africa were then temporarily reduced to 14 men when Jannie du Plessis was sent to the sin-bin, but Laidlaw’s resulting penalty fell just short.

Just before the break South Africa managed to further extend their lead with a try through Pietersen and Pollard’s conversion gave the Springboks a 17 point advantage at half-time.

Half-time: South Africa 20-3 Scotland

Five minutes into the second-half Scotland closed the gap with a penalty through Greig Laidlaw as the Scots looked to build momentum, but it was a moment of magic from Duncan Weir which got the Scotland supporters on their feet.

Weir intercepted the ball on his own 22 and ran the full length of the field, avoiding South African players on his way to the line, before offloading to Tim Visser who in turn found Tommy Seymour who dived over.

That score brought Scotland to within nine points of South Africa and Laidlaw’s conversion from a tight angle made it 20-13 to the Springboks.

Pollard who was accurate with his boot all evening extended the Springboks lead once more with a drop goal a minute later and South Africa were once again in the ascendancy.

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw was then shown a yellow card for tackling Bryan Habana without the ball, with the South African winger closing in on the Scots line.

Weir managed to get three more points for Scotland on the hour mark with a penalty but again almost immediately South Africa went further ahead with a long-range penalty from the halfway line.

A further penalty from Pollard on 67 minutes meant Scotland had it all to do in the final 13 minutes of the game and a try on 73 minutes put the Springboks out of sight.

Winger Habana dived over in the corner but this time Pollard was unable to convert and despite some late pressure from the Scots they were unable to find a way through the excellent South African defence.

As the clock went red the Springboks looked for a bonus-point try and Habana raced up the wing and put a kick in behind the Scotland defence, but replacement scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne did well to get back and clear the danger.

That was the final play of this entertaining encounter and South Africa’s win means they move to the top of Pool B.

Scotland play Samoa in Newcastle next Saturday knowing a win will see them qualify for the knockout stages of the tournament.

Full-time: South Africa (20) 34-16 (3) Scotland

Scotland team: 15. Stuart Hogg; 14. Tommy Seymour, 13 Richie Vernon, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser; 10 Duncan Weir, 9. Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN; 1. Gordon Reid, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Willem Nel, 4. Richie Gray, 5. Jonny Gray, 6. Josh Strauss, 7. Blair Cowan, 8. David Denton. Replacements: Lamont for Hogg (63), Horne for Vernon (65), Hidalgo-Clyne for Laidlaw (70), Dickinson for Reid (51), Ford for Brown (61), Welsh for Nel (64), Swinson for J. Gray (69), Wilson for Strauss (55).

Sin Bin: Laidlaw (53).

South Africa team: 15 Willie le Roux; 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Jesse Kriel, 12. Damian De Allende, 11. Bryan Habana; 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Fourie du Preez CAPTAIN; 1. Tendai Mtawarira, 2. Bismarck du Plessis, 3. Jannie du Plessis, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 5. Lood de Jager, 6. Francois Louw,  7. Schalk Burger, 8. Duane Vermeulen. Replacements: Lambie for Pietersen (70), Serfontein for de Allende (75), Pienaar for du Preez (80), Nyakane for Mtawarira (67), Strauss for B. du Plessis (57), Malherbe for J. du Plessis (50), du Toit for de Jager (76), Alberts for Burger (70).

Sin Bin: J. du Plessis (34).

Att: 50,900

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).

Team lineups

South Africa
Scotland

Backs

Backs

Forwards

Forwards

Substitutes

Substitutes

Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool B latest results

USA 18 v 28 Japan
Samoa 33 v 36 Scotland
South Africa 64 v 0 USA
South Africa 34 v 16 Scotland
Samoa 5 v 26 Japan