Mapimpi double helps Boks sink Scotland
MATCH REPORT: Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries as world champions South Africa beat Scotland 30-15 at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Scotland had led 10-8 at the break after a try by captain Stuart Hogg but Mapimpi’s converted score early in the second period saw the Springboks go five points clear.
Elton Jantjies then extended the lead with two further penalties to leave South Africa well in front at 21-10.
Hogg’s second try reduced the Springboks’ lead to five points but several further penalties, with Handre Pollard and Frans Steyn also getting on the scoreboard, helped South Africa record their seventh successive victory over Scotland.
South Africa, who opened their European campaign with a 23-18 win over Wales last week, round off their year against England at Twickenham on November 20 in a repeat of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
South Africa dominated territory and possession in the opening quarter, with their pack on top at the scrum.
Yet it was Scotland who scored the first points of the match in the 17th minute when flyhalf Russell kicked a 40-metre penalty.
But South Africa’s pressure eventually saw them draw level six minutes later through No.10 Elton Jantjies.
And they took the lead in the 28th minute.
Both teams had given up possession before South Africa moved the ball wide.
Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi drew Rufus McLean before his well-timed pass released Mapimpi, a World Cup final try-scorer, with the wing going in at the left corner
Jantjies scuffed the conversion but South Africa led 8-3.
Scotland, however, hit back five minutes before half-time with a superb try created by some typically inventive play from Russell.
His clever cross-field kick found Duhan van der Merwe, with the South Africa-born wing doing well to flick the ball back into play.
Russell then combined expertly with centre Chris Harris before, after a quick handling movement, fullback Hogg collected a bouncing ball for a try awarded after the officials checked for a forward pass.
And with Russell landing the conversion, Scotland led 10-8 at the interval after Russell pulled a penalty across the face of the posts with the last kick of the half.
South Africa kept Scotland deep inside the hosts 22 early in the second half and that led to another try for Mapimpi.
Lukhanyo Am fielded a loose ball and counter-attacked. The ball was worked across the field before Damien de Allende expertly-timed pass sent Mapimpi in for a 43rd-minute score.
After the officials checked for a possible knock-on by Jesse Kriel earlier in the move, the try was upheld and the Springboks went 15-10 ahead following Jantjies’s conversion.
And they went two scores in front after Hogg was penalised for a ‘seatbelt tackle’, before another penalty put the visitors 11 points clear.
But heading into the final quarter, Scotland hit back thanks to Hogg’s second try.
After declining a kickable penalty, Russell drew a defender and shipped the ball on to van der Merwe.
His flipped pass over the top of the cover found Hogg, with the skipper’s angled run seeing him go in at the corner, with his 24th try for Scotland equalling the national record shared Tony Stanger and Ian Smith.
But with Russell missing the conversion, his third off-target goal-kick of the match, South Africa were still 21-15 ahead.
With their pack in which lock Eben Etzebeth was outstanding, dominating the scrum and winning collisions up front, the Springboks strengthened their grip by forcing several more penalties, with Handre Pollard and Frans Steyn also getting on the scoreboard as the Boks dominated the second half with a score of 22-5.
Man of the match: Makazole Mapimpi was lethal out wide and he scored two tries. Damian de Allende had a strong performance in the midfield. His carries got the Boks over the gain line on several occasions. However, the award goes to Eben Etzebeth who had an outstanding work rate throughout the match. He carried the ball more than anyone on the field.
Tries: Hogg 2
For South Africa:
Tries: Mapimpi 2
Con: E Jantjies
Pens: E Jantjies 3, Pollard 2, Steyn
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (Captain), 14 Rufus McLean, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Nick Haining, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Pierre Schoeman.
Replacements: 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Oli Kebble, 19 Jamie Hodgson, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 George Horne, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Blair Kinghorn.
South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Albertus Smith, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nché.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Frans Steyn.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Brett Cronan (Australia)