Springboks shut out Scotland at Murrayfield

Visiting side score four tries to run out easy winners

 South Africa fullback Willie Le Roux  dives over for a try during the international against Scotland  at Murrayfield. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

South Africa fullback Willie Le Roux dives over for a try during the international against Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

 

Scotland 0 South Africa 28: Scotland suffered a painful shut-out defeat to South Africa as they were utterly outclassed at Murrayfield.

The home side lasted less than five minutes before handing control to the Springboks as flanker Willem Alberts crossed over for the first try.

And despite some determined defence things only got worse for the hosts who simply lacked the basic skills to take on the world’s number two-ranked team.

Ruaridh Jackson’s slip let in Willie Le Roux for a second on 29 minutes before the fullback played in JP Pietersen for a third moments later to leave Scotland trailing 21-0 after Pat Lambie converted all three scorers.

Another Jackson error soon saw South Africa run in a fourth try 13 minutes after the break as replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen barged over from a lineout to complete a resounding defeat for Scott Johnson’s men.

It was a far cry from the last meeting between the sides in June, when Scotland were beaten but not unbowed as they went down 30-17 having led by 11 points early in the second half.

That Nelspruit collapse was sparked by Jim Hamilton’s needless yellow card and discipline was the order of the day as Johnson sent out his side to a sorry Murrayfield pitch weakened by a parasitic bug.

The breakdown was an area in particular where controlled aggression would be required, especially with the visitors recalling Toulon’s Heineken Cup-winning lock Bakkies Botha to their secondrow after a two-year absence. But that control lasted just three minutes.

After absorbing some early pressure, Nick De Luca suffered a rush of blood to the head as he illegally dived into a ruck from the side to concede a penalty which the Springboks put out for a lineout inside the Scots’ five-yard line.

Hooker Adrian Strauss hit his mark from the set-piece and Alberts barged his way over for the opening score.

Outhalf Lambie did the necessary with the conversion to hand the visitors the perfect start.

Scotland were having to defend for their lives and the tackle count soon read 41-5 in their favour after little more than 10 minutes.

Lambie missed with his first penalty attempt after a quarter of an hour but the traffic continued to go in one direction only.

Having survived further losses, Scotland looked like they were finally ready to march forward.

But after two phases of promising stuff Jackson lobbed the ball into Le Roux’s grasp for the fullback to run in a 50-yard touchdown.

Lambie added the extras but before Scotland had even got their breath back 14-0 became 21-0.

Another slip in midfield saw Le Roux get his hands on the ball in the danger zone but this time he booted a clever kick into the corner for Pietersen to slide home a third try, converted again by Lambie.

Stand-in skipper Greig Laidlaw had said before the game that his side were capable of competing against the top Southern Hemisphere nations but that claim was quickly unravelling.

On the few occasions on which Scotland did manage to gain territory, if basic errors did not let them down, a lack of inspiration ultimately cost them against a thoroughly well-drilled opposition.

A classic example came 11 minutes into the second half just as Scotland were gaining ground towards the Springboks’ 22 when another wild pass from Jackson handed possession to the visitors who kicked upfield, forcing Sean Maitland to boot the loose ball into touch just a yard from the scoreline.

Yet again mistakes proved costly as replacement prop Oosthuizen profited from the resulting lineout to barge over for another score, while Lambie converted again.

It was no surprise that Jackson’s errors at outhalf soon became too much for Johnson, who replaced him with Duncan Weir.

Johnnie Gray was the next man to join the action for the home side but the Glasgow lock was denied the chance of lining up beside his brother Richie for his first cap as the British and Irish Lion was the man selected to make way.

The visitors were forced to play out the remaining 10 minutes with 14 men after losing replacement flanker Marcell Coetzee to the sinbin after irking French referee Jerome Garces with his persistent infringements.

But there was still time for the home side to suffer one last kick in the teeth when Max Evans was denied a late consolation try after Bryan Habana got a hand to Weir’s grubber kick.

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