The Springboks Rugby World Cup campaign is firmly back on track after a 34-16 win over Scotland at St James’ Park on Saturday.
As it happened: South Africa v Scotland
The Springboks led Scotland 20-3 at halftime.
South Africa dominated the early exchanges in a physical encounter and took the lead in the 11th minute when Schalk Burger forced his way over the line.
Flyhalf Handre Pollard converted to hand the Springboks a 7-0 lead.
Playing in their alternate all white strip, South Africa continued with their measured approach after their opening score remaining calm with ball in hand despite some fierce tackling from the Scots.
Pollard extended the Springboks lead with a penalty in the 16th minute.
After a sustained period of pressure, Scotland were penalised for an infringement at the breakdown with the Springboks just 5 metres out from the tryline.
Pollard was called into action and made no mistake from right out in front.
Scotland’s Greig Laidlaw got his side on the scoreboard with a 29th minute penalty.
Referee Nigel Owens sent Jannie du Plessis to the sin bin in the 32nd minute after the South African prop entered the ruck without using his arms.
Du Plessis’ absence was not felt as JP Pietersen scored on the stroke of halftime after Fourie du Preez put the winger through following a line-out drive by the forwards. Pollard’s boot added the extras.
Laidlaw reduced the margin by three in the 44th minute after Owens penalised the Springboks for being offside.
Scotland roared back into the contest after Tommy Seymour scored following an intercept while the Springboks were deep in the Scottish half. Laidlaw’s conversion brought the Scots within a converted try.
Pollard silenced the raucous crowd with a drop goal in the 50th minute before Laidlaw was sent to the sin bin for a cynical foul on Bryan Habana, who looked to counter attack after a Scottish error.
Laidlaw again brought his side within seven points after another offside call against the Springboks.
Pollard stretch the Springbok lead to ten points with less than 20 minutes to go after his 50 metre penalty sailed through the uprights.
The South African forwards earned their side a penalty after several phases of play which Pollard made no mistake with in the 67th minute.
Bryan Habana ended all hopes of a Scottish comeback after he dotted down his 61st international try in the 73rd minute. Habana try’s came after good, patient play from the Springbok pack.
Pollard’s conversion drifted away to the left.
Lood de Jager was awarded the Man of the Match award.
Try: Schalk Burger, JP Pietersen, Habana
Conversion: Handre Pollard 2
Penalties: Pollard 4
Drop goal: Pollard
Tries: Tommy Seymour
Conversions: Greig Laidlaw
Penalties: Laidlaw 3