Reigning World Cup champions South Africa did what they do best as they overpowered Scotland to secure a crucial 18 – 3 opening-round victory.
Scotland showed glimpses of their impressive attacking game but struggled to deal with Boks’ intense line speed that shut down several promising scoring opportunities.
Leading the defensive charge was backrow Pieter-Steph Du Toit, who looks to be getting back to the form that saw him crowned World Player Of The Year in 2019. Blitzing the Scottish attack with immense pace, Du Toit and the rest of the Bok pack gave Scottish magician Finn Russell zero space from which to operate.
Even in the face of this immense pressure, Russell had his moments and looked to have unlocked the Bok defence on a handful of occasions, only for the South Africans to scramble impressively.
Flipping the script, the Boks would prove to be the side who utilised the space to score two well-taken tries that ultimately proved to be the difference.
First up was Du Toit, who, aided by his forward chums, powered through Scottish tacklers from three meters out to secure the first try of the evening.
Three minutes later, the Boks would show their finesse as player of the match Kurt-Lee Arendse continued his remarkable try-scoring run to go over for the Boks’ second.
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Having seen Manie Libbok miss the first conversion, the South Africans handed the kicking duties over to scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, who secured the extra two points.
This would prove to be the last points of the fixture as the two sides tussled back and forth without creating too many opportunities.
Next up for South Africa is a clash with minnows Romania on Sunday 17th, who come into the fixture having shifted 82 points to Ireland on Saturday.
Scotland, on the other hand, have a week off before they face South Pacific Island nation Tonga on Saturday, the 24th.