Hosts South Africa continued their run of excellent results on Saturday, demolishing Scotland in Cape Town on their way to a routine 55-6 win, as shared by IRB Rugby:
FINAL SCORE: South Africa 55-6 Scotland— IRB Total Rugby (@IRBTotalRugby) June 28, 2014
The Springboks' start was furious, and before a single Scottish player had even touched the ball, the first try was already on the board. From the line-out the ball was worked to Marcel Coetzee, who powered his way over the line for the first points of the match.
BBC's B McLauchlin was a bit scared for the Scottish visitors:
South Africa 7 Scotland 0 with 4 mins played. This could be a long afternoon! #bbcsportscot— BBCBMcLauchlin (@BBCBMcLauchlin) June 28, 2014
Handre Pollard added the conversion, giving the hosts a 7-0 lead. Scotland would cut into the lead after 10 minutes, Duncan Weir kicking a long penalty, but within two minutes, the South Africans scored again.
Some quick passing from the Springboks saw the ball move from left to right in the blink of an eye, and Willie Le Roux was able to touch down in the corner nearly untouched, making it 14-3.
South Africa kept up the pressure, dominating from the line-out, and Scotland simply couldn't keep up. Too many mistakes led to wasted possessions, and against the No. 2 side in the world, those errors will cost you.
An errant Scottish pass went into the hands of JP Pietersen midway through the first half, and he placed a beautiful kick in front of winger Lwazi Mvovo, whose speed got him to the ball first. Pollard missed the conversion, making it 19-3.
The Score.ie Rugby started to get really worried:
Scotland are getting taken to the Springbok cleaners. South Africa lead 19-3 after 18 mins— TheScore.ie Rugby (@rugby_ie) June 28, 2014
The Springboks would take their foot off the gas a bit after that try, and Scotland started to build some momentum. Weir added one more penalty before the half, and the final 10 minutes belonged to the visitors, though they failed to score additional points.
Borders Rugby had the half-time score:
International Half Time: South Africa 19-6 Scotland— Borders Rugby (@bordersrugby) June 28, 2014
Much of the Scottish momentum vanished at the start of the second half, as South Africa once again started upping the pace. Scotland kept giving up penalties, and debutant Pollard made it 22-6 after just four minutes.
Tim Swinsin then was shown a (harsh) yellow card for an excessive hold, making the task that much harder for the visitors. Within minutes, the Springboks had added a fourth try through Coetzee, and the match was all but over.
Both sides started making substitutions, but where the Scots were looking at simply finishing the match, the Springboks wanted more. Pietersen added his second try of the afternoon from a well-worked maul, and the floodgates truly opened.
Mvolo and and Lood de Jager kept the pressure on with more tries of their own, using the man-advantage to the fullest. Western Mail's Simon Thomas feared for the worst:
Still 20 minutes to go and Scotland are losing 41-6 to South Africa in Port Elizabeth. I predicted 50 points. I may well have underestimated— Simon Thomas (@simonrug) June 28, 2014
One more late try from De Jager and the conversion put the final score on the board, Scotland going home with an embarrassing 55-6 loss.
Via EWN Sport, coach Heyneke Meyer was very satisfied with the Springboks' performance:
Bok coach Heyneke Meyer on win over Scotland: "Very proud of the guys, the thing that stands out is that we never conceded a try."— EWN Sport (@EWNsport) June 28, 2014
He reserved special praise for Pollard, who looked phenomenal in his first ever appearance for South Africa:
Meyer: "Handre was brilliant, running onto the ball. There was a lot of mistakes, but I knew that with a lot of new guys."— EWN Sport (@EWNsport) June 28, 2014
Meyer: "We needed a young flyhalf to stand up, and Pollard was awesome going forward. He's got a mature head on his shoulders."— EWN Sport (@EWNsport) June 28, 2014
Scottish coach Vern Cotter lost his very first match in charge of the team, and while he didn't like the outcome of the match, he saw plenty of positives as well:
Cotter: "The guys never gave up, there was character shown out there, I don't like it (result) but the tour will help us in the long run."— EWN Sport (@EWNsport) June 28, 2014
South Africa's preparations for the 2015 World Cup have been perfect so far, and the Springboks seem to be closing the gap with New Zealand in a hurry. Several normal starters didn't even play against the Scots, and it looks like South Africa's depth for the future is just fine.
Scotland's tour of Test matches can still be considered a success, as the Springboks are truly an extraordinary team. The Scots look like they've recovered from a disappointing Six Nations, and this younger team appears to be on the right track.