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Sport Assessment: South Africa V Scotland – Pool B – Sunday 10 September

The opening weekend of Rugby World Cup 2023 started to attract to an in depth with a tasty Pool B match up. A formidable Scotland aspect comes into the match ranked fifth on this planet, dropping solely 3 of 9 matches this yr, and boasting a squad some have already named their finest ever. There’s only one drawback: in pool-mates Eire (1) and South Africa (2) they’ve drawn not solely the highest two ranked sides on this planet, however two groups they’ve failed to beat since 2017. Whereas most neutrals most likely have comfortable spot for the Jocks, they should take no less than one huge scalp to have any hope of progressing.

In the meantime world champions South Africa entered this match filled with confidence after annihilating their rivals in black two weeks in the past, however effectively conscious a slip up right here might set their hopes of a title defence again a mile. The romance of a rainbow nation united behind the Bokke-clad boys burns shiny, however they could have had their time within the solar. It stays to be seen whether or not somebody, anybody, can knock this juggernaut down a peg earlier than they will declare what could be a document fourth trophy.

Either side named nearly their strongest out there sides, with Duhan van der Merwe a key participant to observe because the proud South African Scottish lad confronted up towards his Vaderland on the largest stage.

The Match

A frenetic opening sequence noticed each backlines keen to throw the ball round, loads of metres made and a few cost downs in addition. No factors, nonetheless, and ultimately South Africa reverted to their conventional bombing blitz. The up-and-unders mixed with a constant and unwavering rush defence would set the sample for your complete match and by no means actually allowed the Scots to settle. Factors ultimately got here from the tee, Manie Libbok slotting one then two penalties (after lacking a really gettable one, it should be stated).

The Springbok pack was unusually brittle at scrum time throughout the first half, Scotland capable of keep within the recreation with some highly effective shoves and getting on the board themselves by way of the boot of Finn Russell. Eben Etzebeth departed proceedings early with a shoulder harm, which can show regarding. Scotland’s first half defence was additionally glorious, and honours had been roughly even at half-time, South Africa main 6-3.

The image modified dramatically early within the second half, the Bokkies rediscovering their scrummaging mojo and obliterating the Scottish pack. The ensuing momentum and area place delivered two tries within the opening ten minutes, first to a strong push from Pieter-Steph du Toit, and the second to a slick Libbok to Kurt-Lee Arendse kick go. From that time on the mountain proved too steep for a keen Scotland, persevering with to be pissed off by the South African rush and unable to get strike gamers like van der Merwe into the match.

The Sport Changer

Actually half time. The back-end of the primary half noticed Scotland repulse an attacking South African maul, exit cleanly with a scrum penalty, then obtain scrum dominance once more on midway to arrange their first factors of the match. However some soul-searching within the sheds had the Springbok pack come into the second interval with a degree to show. They tore the Scots to shreds at a forty second minute scrum and from there by no means seemed again.

The Man of the Match/Standout Participant

Manie Libbok bought the official nod, and whereas his marshalling normally play was certainly glorious, his 50% goal-kicking was an unlucky blot and at instances threatened to go away South Africa uncovered. Jack Dempsey was glorious in a well-beaten aspect. Actually your complete beginning Bok pack deserves credit score for the turnaround, but when I’ve to decide on the choccies go to Pieter-Steph du Toit: usually workmanlike across the park, and although he missed just a few tackles a few essential own-half turnovers and a very good barging strive had been essential to the South African victory.

The Particulars

South Africa: 18
Tries: Pieter-Steph Du Toit (47′), Kurt-Lee Arendse (50′)
Conversions: Faf de Klerk (52′)
Penalties: Manie Libbok (13′, 25′)

Scotland: 3
Tries: N/A
Conversions: N/A
Penalties: Finn Russell (41′)



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