Scotland vs. South Africa: Re-Living 5 Famous Matches

Danny CoyleFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2013

Scotland vs. South Africa: Re-Living 5 Famous Matches

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    Scotland host South Africa on Sunday with the Boks coming off a powerful display in Cardiff.

    Scotland coach Scott Johnson has already declared his intention for his team to match their opponents' physical prowess, and if they can manage that, we could be in for a classic between two sides who have had their fair share of great tussles over the years.

    Here are five memorable meetings.

Scotland 6-0 South Africa, 1906

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    South Africa’s first tour was also the first time the term Springbok was coined.

    According to rugbyrelics.com, the tour represented much more than a sporting watershed for the South Africans, who used it as a unifying opportunity, coming as it did just four years after the Boer War.

    The loss to Scotland in Glasgow was their only defeat on the tour as they went on to beat Ireland, Wales and France while drawing with England. 

Scotland 6-3, South Africa, 1969

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    Under growing protests against South Africa’s apartheid government, the Boks arrived in Edinburgh on their 1969 tour under the spotlight more than ever.

    The match at Murrayfield was marred by scenes of police charging across the turf to quell protests in the crowd.

    The contest itself was not the last time a Scottish captain and No. 8 by the name of Jim Telfer would be one of the architects of the Springboks’ downfall.

    But the chief tormentor of the Boks that day was the 6'10" Peter Stagg, who dominated the lineout and caused general mayhem as full-back Ian Smith’s try and penalty cancelled out Piet Visagie’s solitary penalty.

    It was to be the last time the two sides would meet each other for 25 years as South African sport was cast into the wilderness.

South Africa 29-25 Scotland, 2003

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    Scotland were denied a famous win on South African soil as the Boks roared back from 13 points down to claim victory.

    Jason White and Andy Craig touched down to help the Scots to a 12-3 lead before two Louis Koen penalties trimmed their lead. In the second half, Chris Paterson added a third try and, after an hour, the visitors led 25-12.

    In the game that saw the debut of the great Juan Smith, Stefan Terblanche (pictured with Smith) scored the Boks' first try and another Koen penalty reduced the gap to six.

    Koen added another three points to make it 22-25 as the game entered the final 10 minutes and after the fly-half hit the post with an easy penalty attempt, the chaos that ensued ended with Trevor Halsted going over.

    With the home side now leading 29-25, Nathan Hines had the chance to score the winning try in injury time but knocked the ball on over the line and Scottish hearts were left broken.

Scotland 10-45 South Africa, 2004

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    The thumping 45-10 scoreline at Murrayfield suggests a one-sided affair when South Africa turned on the style in 2004.

    But the game is memorable for the first start of one Springbok player in particular.

    Bryan Habana had come off the bench a week earlier to gain his first cap against England in a defeat.

    Now he was given the starting No. 11 shirt for the first time and wasted little time in making everyone sit up and take notice.

    Habana snagged not one but two interception tries against an unsuspecting Scottish defence who would have known little or nothing about the talent in their midst.

    It was the start of a glittering career for a player who has become one of the all-time try-scoring greats, with 53 tries in his 93 Tests.

Scotland 21-17 South Africa, 2010

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    Scotland had finished second bottom of the 2010 Six Nations table and had, the previous week, shipped 40 points against a rampant New Zealand.

    So the odds were hardly in their favour with the arrival of South Africa.

    But the boot of Dan Parks was unerring all afternoon as he kicked six penalties and a drop goal to rob the Boks of a Grand Slam tour of Europe.

    A nip/tuck first hour finally swung Scotland’s way when Parks made it 18-12 on 62 minutes and after he had extended their lead with 12 minutes left, Willem Alberts’ try was not enough to unsteady the hosts' nerves, who hung on for a first win over the Boks since a 21-6 victory in 2002.