Scotland 3 - 27 South Africa
A South African salvo of three tries in seven minutes in the second quarter sunk Scottish hopes of a World Cup warm-up victory at Murrayfield in the Bank of Scotland Corporate August Test match this afternoon. But those were to be the only tries of a highly intense contest.
Afterwards, Scotland head coach Frank Hadden commented: “We got exactly what we needed from this game. We looked like a team with one warm-up game whereas South Africa had had about 10. The very good side that South Africa are they took advantage of that.
“We were unsure about our two-match strategy. They boys felt like it was three matches.
“But we are not unhappy about where we are at this stage.”
Jason White, Scotland’s captain, also compared the win against Ireland two weeks ago and this game. “The intensity was a big step up from the Ireland game. I’m disappointed: I thought we were going to push the “Books close.”
Jake White, South Africa’s coach, complimented the Scots’ sterling efforts in his post-match summary. “To come out without conceding a try was exactly what we wanted, especially considering the Scots cored five tries against Ireland. This is a very good Scottish team.”
Scotland took the lead with a Chris Paterson penalty after only 10 minutes. But the Springboks struck back with a Percy Montgomery penalty goal as a prelude to the three-try blitz.
After early, brief South African pressure Rory Lamont retorted with three testing kicks deep into the visitors’ half. Twice he chased and caught the ball, the second venture unleashing a stream of Scottish recycling, with notable thrusts by Simon Webster and Euan Murray. Lamont’s third kick ahead procured a penalty in the visitors’ 22, and Chris Paterson kicked the goal.
South Africa responded three minutes later with a Percy Montgomery penalty goal after Bryan Habana had only just failed to reach the ball as he chased into the right corner.
But Habana was not to be denied. Off a scrum close to the line, from Dannie Roussow’s pick-up, he sprinted in for a try, his 22nd in 28 Tests. That was in 22 minutes, and. Jaque Fourie and Fourie du Preez then quickly followed up with a try each, both also from close range
Fourie du Preez’s high kick into the home 22 could not be gathered by any of three Scots, and Francois Steyn exploited the confusion to create a try for Jaque Fourie. Then du Preez scored himself after a concentrated assault that involved key thrusts by two front-row forwards, C J van der Linde and Gary Botha.
Montgomery converted all three, and it could have been worse. Between the first and second tries young Steyn was not far wide with a penalty from fully five metres inside his own half.
Jason White, Scotland’s captain, had to leave the field with a head cut 10 minutes before the interval. At the same time South African prop Os Du Randt also departed with a blood Scotland head coach Frank Hadden and captain Jason White are once again inviting supporters along to see just what it takes to be a Scotland international rugby player.
After the success of their first open training session of the summer in the lead-up to their victory against Ireland earlier this month, the Scotland rugby squad are to repeat the initiative on Monday (20 August).
The session begins on the back pitches at Murrayfield at 6pm and will conclude at about 7.20pm. At the end of the practice, players will be available for photographs and autographs.
The training session is the first in the week leading up to next Saturday’s (25 August) Bank of Scotland Corporate August Test against South Africa at Murrayfield (kick-off 5pm).
Entry to the ground for Monday’s public training session is via Gate B (off Roseburn Street, Edinburgh) and is free.
Supporters will have the chance to buy tickets for the August Tests from Scottish Rugby’s Ticket Centre (which will be open until 8pm). They’ll also have the opportunity to snap up the new Scotland jersey (designed by Canterbury of New Zealand) and other rugby kit from the Scottish Rugby store (which will be open until 7.30pm). Refreshments will be available from the Murrayfield Wanderers clubhouse adjacent to the back pitches.
Tickets for the visit of South Africa next Saturday cost from just £10, £20 or £30 for adults and from £5, £10 and £15 for under-18s, students and OAPs and are available online at www.scottishrugby.org; via the credit card hotline on 0131 346 5100 (Mon - Fri, 9am - 8pm. Sat and Sun, 9am - 5pm) and in person from the Scottish Rugby Ticket Centre, Roseburn Street, Murrayfield. Please note there will be no tickets on sale on match days. Booking fees apply.
The August Tests are a vital part of Scotland’s preparation for Rugby World Cup, with the first match against Portugal in St Etienne three weeks away tomorrow (Sunday).