After putting the first points on the board, through a breakaway try by winger Jamie Farndale (top try scorer at JWC 2012), the Scots couldn't match the pace and physicality of their South African counterparts. Despite being just 14-5 down at the break, the Scots were overpowered in the second half, going down 61-5 at full time.
Their opening game in this Junior World Championship was always going to be tough, against the physical third seeds and 2012 champions.
An offload game in the opening period, it was the Scots who dictated play when Farndale touched down after 9m, the break coming from Scotland's 25m. The conversion attempt from Chalmers was just short but it was the first and last time that Scotland would bother the scoreboard, as the Junior Boks got into their stride.
Answering back with a converted try after 17m and another on 29m, while missing a penalty in between, South Africa went into the break 14-5 up over Scotland. However they turned up the gas and peppered the second half with a try, on average, every 5 minutes, to make it 61-5 by full time and gain a bonus point.
Head coach Sean Lineen said: "We are on a steep learning curve but at 14-5 at half time we had worked really hard and played some very good rugy against a quality side, and were well into the game going into the second half.
"Our set piece competed for large periods against a big set of forwards but our decision making and first-up tackling was way below the standard that's needed at this level. We fell off far too many tackles in the second half and were duly punished."
The Scots now regroup for their second pool game, against Samoa, at 3.35pm local (4.35am UK) on Friday 6 June.
Scotland under-20 team v South Africa-20, Monday 2 June at QBE Stadium, Auckland (kick-off 3.35pm local, 4.35am UK)
15 Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies)
14 Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *
13 Chris Dean (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s)
12 Neil Herron (Glasgow Hawks/Scotland 7s)
11 Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby)**
10 Ben Chalmers (Melrose)
9 Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s)
1 Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors)
2 Sam James (London Wasps)
3 D'arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors) **
4 Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)
5 Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *
6 Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby) **
7 Tommy Spinks (c) (London Scottish)
8 Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) **
16 James Malcolm (Ayr) * (on for James, 45m)
17 Phil Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) ** (on for Cosgrove, 57m)
18 Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks) (on for Rae, 50m)
19 Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons) (on for Cramond, 57m)
20 Gabriel Carroll (Loughborough University)
21 Ben Vellacott (Hartpury/Gloucester) (on for Glashan, 59m)
22 Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints) (on for Chalmers, 52m)
23 Sam Pequeur (Edinburgh Accies) (on for Farndale 36m)
South Africa: 1 Pierre Schoeman 2 Malcolm Marx 3 Wilco Louw 4 Abongile Nonkontwana 5 Nico Janse Van Rensburg 6 Jacques Vermeulen 7 Cyle Brink 8 Aidon Davis 9 Zee Mkhabela 10 Handre Pollard (C) 11 Sergeal Petersen 12 Andre Esterhuizen 13 Jesse Kriel 14 Lloyd Greef 15 Warrick Gelant
Substitutes (all used except 16 )16 Corniel Els 17 Dayan Van Der Westhuizen 18 Thomas Du Toit 19 JD Schickerling 20 Jean Luc Du Preez 21 JP Smith 22 Jean Luc Du Plessis 23 Rohan Janse van Rensburg
Referee: Joaquin Montes (Uruguay)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
Scotland under-20 squad for IRB Junior World Cup
Magnus Bradbury (Boroughmuir/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Lewis Carmichael (Melrose) *
Ben Chalmers (Melrose)
Gabriel Carroll (Loughborough University)
Jack Cosgrove (Worcester Warriors)
Andrew Cramond (Aberdeen Grammar)
Philip Cringle (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Chris Dean (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s)
Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Hawks)
Jamie Farndale (Edinburgh Accies/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Cameron Fenton (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife) *
Alex Glashan (Edinburgh Accies/Scotland 7s)
Neil Herron (Glasgow Hawks/Scotland 7s)
Damien Hoyland (Melrose) *
Rory Hutchinson (Northampton Saints)
Blair Hutchison (Loughborough University/Melrose)
Neil Irvine-Hess (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby) **
Sam James (London Wasps)
Gavin Lowe (Glasgow Hawks/Glasgow Warriors) **
James Malcolm (Ayr) *
Gavin Parker (Exeter University)
Sam Pecqueur (Edinburgh Accies)
D'arcy Rae (Ayr/Glasgow Warriors) **
Jamie Ritchie (Strathallan School/Howe of Fife) *
Tommy Spinks (London Scottish) (captain)
Ben Vellacott (Hartpury/Gloucester)
Glen Young (Newcastle Falcons)
Ruairidh Young (Edinburgh Accies)
* member of Scottish Rugby's Regional Academy supported by sportscotland Institute of Sport
**Elite Development Player 2013/14
The IRB Junior World Cup 2014 will be held in Auckland, New Zealand. Scotland's pool games are against South Africa (Monday 2 June, k/o 3.35pm local); Samoa (Friday 6 June, k/o 3.35pm local); and New Zealand (Tuesday 10 June, k/o 7.35pm local). Further fixtures on Sunday 15 June and Friday 20 June are dependent on results. Last year, Scotland finished in 10th place in the tournament.
Scotland's game against New Zealand (Tuesday 10 June) will be shown live on Sky Sports 2 HD, with coverage starting at 8.30am (UK). Highlights of Scotland's other fixtures will be accessible approximately 12 hours after the end of each game. Due to broadcast rights issues, these matches will not be streamed live in the UK.