Planet Rugby

Springboks survive Scottish fightback

17th November 2012 16:13

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South Africa s hooker Adriaan Strauss scores his second try v Scotland

Double strike: Adriaan Strauss scores his second try

Two tries from Adriaan Strauss helped South Africa to a 21-10 victory over a brave but inefficient Scottish side at Murrayfield on Saturday.

A dominant first-half performance saw the visitors take a 14-3 lead into the interval thanks to Strauss's first try - off a rolling maul that Scotland failed to deal with - and three penalties from Pat Lambie.

The Bok vice-captain extended the visitors' lead early in the second period with an intercept try from long range but Scotland ruled the last 30 minutes.

A try from replacement scrum-half Henry Pyrgos got the hosts back into contention and only long periods of committed defence from the Springboks kept the free-running hosts at bay.

For 45 minutes the Scots were simply unable to match the Springboks' power in the contact areas and Francois Louw made life miserable for the men in blue with his pilfering work at the breakdown.

But in a dramatic change of roles, the hosts upped their game significantly as the game progressed and Heyneke Meyer would have been a worried man as he watched his side struggle to get out of their own half in the last quarter.

Indeed, Andy Robinson would have been mighty frustrated at the full-time whistle after seeing his team waste a handful of opportunities with some terrible decision making.

Lambie and his opposite number Greig Laidlaw exchanged early penalties before the Boks rumbled over the whitewash for the first try of the game at the end of the first quarter.

Scotland had hoped to negate the threat of the Springbok maul by not allowing it to form but failed dismally in executing their plan and were left red-faced as they scrambled to stop the green machine from advancing forward for what turned out to be an easy first Test try for Strauss.

The Bok defence looked impenetrable and Lambie could add his third penalty to give the visitors an 11-point lead at the break.

The game looked done and dusted when Strauss intercepted Mike Blair to race 40 metres and score under the sticks but the Scottish reply was impressive although not always effective.

Blair was replaced by Pyrgos, who had a massive impact on the home side's attack.

Scotland opted to kick for touch from a penalty and Pyrgos ran in untouched as he collected Kelly Brown's pass and went straight through a hole in the line-out.

Scotland had the Boks under cosh for most of the remainder of the game, but were unable to break down the well-organised South African defence, even when Flip van der Merwe saw yellow in the dying stages.

Man of the match: Francois Louw was fantastic once again and Henry Pyrgos deserves a mention but you can't overlook the man who scored two tries, Adriaan Strauss.

Moment of the match: Scotland were always going to struggle to get back into the game once they had conceded the first try. The Bok rolling maul strikes again!

Villain of the match: No nasty stuff to report.

The scorers:

For Scotland:
Try: Pyrgos
Con: Laidlaw
Pen: Laidlaw

For South Africa:
Tries: Strauss 2
Cons: Lambie
Pens: Lambie 3
Yellow card: Van der Merwe

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Lamont, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 David Denton, 7 John Barclay, 6 Kelly Brown (c), 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Alastair Kellock, 20 Stuart McInally , 21 Henry Pyrgos, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23 Peter Murchie.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Gurthrö Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Heinke van der Merwe, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Morné Steyn, 22 Jaco Taute, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Venue: Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: John Lacey (Ireland), Christophe Berdos (France)
Television match official: Eric Gauzins (France)

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