Boks steamroll hapless Scots

Sat, 28 Jun 2014 16:45
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The Springboks scored eight unanswered tries in an emphatic 55-6 demolition of a weakened Scotland side in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

The Springboks scored eight unanswered tries in an emphatic 55-6 demolition of a weakened Scotland side in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

Eight tries. That's great in any Test - the third most South Africa has scored in a Test against Scotland. In 1951, when they won 44-0, they scored nine tries, and in 1997 when they won 68-10 they scored 10 tries. The fact of the Springboks' eight tries  is a feat.

For the Port Elizabeth crowd, starved of big rugby, it was a joyous feat. There were just under 49 thousand of them in the ground. They roared at the tries, and sang Olé when victory was inevitable and did massive Mexican waves. They enjoyed the party which the Springboks laid on.

The  Springboks with six uncapped players and  three more with few caps, started with energy. They clearly enjoyed the match while sitting in the stand were famous players on an enforced rest - Bryan Habana, Bakkies Botha, Ruan Pienaar and Morné Steyn whose overseas owners demand that they rest, and Eben Etzebeth not yet fully over his injury.     

For Springboks supporters it was a massive relief after the last-minute scramble for victory against Wales. This time there was no scramble. The Springboks kicked off and in no time were attacking while the Scots, brave throughout, were forced to defend The Springboks ran, they got quick ball and they ran some more.

At the first line-out, they threw the ball to  new boy Lood de Jager and ran some more.  The Scots were penalised again for being offside near their posts. The Springboks kicked out for a line-out. In this match Scotland were penalised 16 times, which is excessive and earned Tim Swinson a spell in the sin bin in the second half. In all there were 27 penalties and a free kick in the matter. On the other hand there were just eight scrums. South Africa did not put the ball into a scrum, in the first half, which may be just as well as their scrumming was poor and earned them three penalties against them

The second line-out was five metres from the Scottish line but the Springboks, as against Wales, did not maul but threw deep to Duane Vermeulen. They peeled off him and bashed till De Jager gave Marcell Coetzee a pass and the flank scored near the posts. Handré Pollard, who had twice run  at the Scottish defence, converted to score his first points in Test rugby. 7-0 after 4 minutes.

Victor Matfield was penalised at a tackle and Duncan Weir goaled. 7-3 after 7 minutes.

From a line-out the Springboks went wide. Jan Serfontein broke and the ball went quickly to Willie le Roux who scored in the corner with Cornal Hendricks not needed on his outside. Pollard converted from touch. 14-7 after 11 minutes.

When the Scots were penalised for the fifth time, the referee warned them. The warning was acted on in the second half by which time the Scots had been penalised 14 times.

Scotland threw a throw into a line-out too far and Schalk Burger got it. Out the ball went to the left where JP Pietersen broke. The defenders were positioned to cut off passes either way and then at top speed Pietersen kicked a left-footed grubber ahead and Lwazi Mvovo of the shortened hair sped onto the bouncing ball and scored the try. 19-3 after 16 minutes.

It took the Springboks 36 minutes to score their next try. The problem may well have been the departure from the field by Fourie du Preez after 28 minutes with a damaged ankle. The service after that lacked the same speed and accuracy.

The Springboks nearly scored when from a line-out Serfontein broke and popped a pass to Mvovo who knocked on But the Scots scored - a second penalty goal when Vermeulen was penalised at a tackle.

That made the half-time score 19-6.

As at the start of the first half, the Springboks ran at the start of the second half and Pollard goaled a penalty when Ross Ford, who had disciplinary problems in the match, was penalised at a tackle. 22-6 after 44 minutes.

At this stage Coenie Oosthuizen, penalised twice at scrums, went off injured and was replaced by debutant Marcel van der Merwe, a Paarl Boys' High product which broke up the all-Grey front row.

Swinson went to the sin bin and the Springboks mauled from a line-out for the first time. They negotiated a heap of players and drove quickly at the line where Coetzee fell down for his second try of the match. 29-6 after 52 minutes.

The Springboks won a Scottish line-out and Vermeulen thundered ahead. They went wide to the right where Pietersen got the ball just in from touch and forced his way over the line, finding grounding a bit of a challenge. 34-6 after 56 minutes.

On for his first cap for Scotland was a South African, Tyrone Holmes of Fish Hoek, a seaside suburb of Cape Tow. At the end of the match he was quick to swop his jersey for a Springbok jersey and put it on.

The Scots went right and floated a long pass which Mvovo intercepted and away he ran for 60 metres and the try. 41-6 after 62 minutes.

In all this time the Scots were certainly brave. They tackled and they competed at the breakdowns with vigour, beaten though they were on the scoreboard.

The seventh Springbok try brought delight to everybody, the scorer not hiding his joy. Hougaard kicked high. The Scots knocked the ball to Coetzee who forged ahead before being tackled by Stuart Hogg. Coetzee got a pass away to huge De Jager who strode down the middle of the field for 40 metres before scoring at the posts. It was a try that will become a part of Springbok folklore. Was this a new Frik du Preez come to play?

That made it 48-6  and was a signal for three more new caps to come on - Stephan Lewies, Oupa Mohoje and Marnitz Boshoff.

The last try followed a grubber by the Scots that Serfontein, a Port Elizabeth boy, got hold of. He ran strongly and the Springboks bashed on the attack till De Jager powered his way through two defenders for his second try.

Man of the Match: There were fine performances by established players such as JP Pietersen, Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Burger. But we have two new caps in mind - Lood de Jager of the exuberant spirit with a grand display in the line-outs, heavy tackling and strong carrying and Handré Pollard, the flyhalf who will turn 21 next March, who played with the calm assurance of a veteran. He played and let play, his tackling was efficient and his kicking almost impeccable. Handré Pollard is our Man of the Match.

Moment of the Match: Lood de Jager's first try, as he charged down the middle of the field with the ball in one enormous hand.

Villain of the Match: Nobody.

The scorers:

For South Africa:
Coetzee 2, Le Roux, Mvovo 2, Pietersen, De Jager 2
Cons: Pollard 5, Boshoff
Pen: Pollard

For Scotland:
Weir 2

Yellow card: Tim Swinson (Scotland, 50 mins - Foul play)


South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Grant Gilchrist (captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Moray Low, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Dougie Fife, 23 Peter Murchie.
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)