South Africa sweep aside Scotland 28-0 in autumn international

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport
Scotland 0-28 South Africa - Autumn international highlights

South Africa displayed all the hallmarks of the world's second-best side as they powered to an impressive victory over an off-colour Scotland.

From the moment Willem Alberts went over for the opening try after seven minutes, the Scots looked ill-at-ease in their white change strip.

Willie Le Roux and JP Pietersen added further tries before half-time.

Coenie Oosthuizen drove over after the break, with four Pat Lambie conversions completing an efficient win.

The Springboks' 19th victory in 24 meetings with the Scots built on last week's impressive win over Wales in Cardiff.

For Scotland, it is back to the drawing board as they failed to register a single point despite the promise of their high-scoring win over Japan.

Much had been made of the size and bulk of the South Africans and, although home coach Scott Johnson made light of that, the visitors looked to use their weight advantage from the kick-off.

Willie Le Roux celebrates for South Africa
Le Roux scored one try and set up another for South Africa at Murrayfield

After Ruaridh Jackson failed to find touch with a clearance kick, there followed three minutes of incessant rugby league-style pressure on the Scottish defence, except it stretched well beyond the sixth tackle.

When the inevitable penalty was conceded, Lambie was rewarded for his decision to kick for touch rather than accept a simple three points. After Duane Vermeulen won the line-out, Alberts pushed over the line as the Scottish defence disintegrated.

The response was lacklustre and riddled with apprehension and uncertainty as the hosts squandered attacking opportunities with bad decision-making and poor line-out ball.

They should have fallen further behind when Tommy Seymour was penalised for taking out Bryan Habana, but Lambie kicked wide almost apologetically after the winger's dramatic fall.

Johnson had argued that good tackling could combat pure bulk and, for all the South African pressure, the determined Scottish defence was holding on heroically.

But just when the Scots gained some momentum inside the visitors' half for the first time, a wayward Jackson pass on 29 minutes gave away a second try, with Le Roux intercepting and speeding unopposed the length of the field and under the posts.

Almost straight from kick-off, Le Roux created another try from deep inside his own half that virtually ended the match as a contest.

The full-back waltzed through a gap in the Scottish defence and his superb kick into the path of Pietersen allowed the winger to celebrate his 50th cap by sliding over the try-line. Even luck was against the Scots as Lambie's conversion slipped over off the crossbar.

It was 35 minutes before the home side crossed the South African 22m line, but they were like frightened rabbits caught in the headlights any time they had a chance to breach the green wall standing imposingly in their faces.

Scotland managed to exert some pressure at the start of the second half, but a carbon copy of the opening try extended the Springboks' lead as Oosthuizen emerged from a huddle of visiting bodies that pushed across the line following a line-out.

Jonny Gray, 19, came on for brother Richie to become the youngest Scottish forward to be capped since Hamish English in 1951 and give the home fans something to cheer.

But by then South Africa had the game won and had taken their foot off the accelerator, with Scotland camped in the Springboks' half for the final 20 minutes.

Pietersen thwarted Dave Denton with a superb tackle and South Africa flanker Francois Louw was stretchered off with what is believed to be concussion as the visitors put their bodies on the line.

And Habana's fingertips just beat Max Evans to a ball behind the Springboks line as the Scots failed to grab even a consolation score.

Scotland: Maitland, Seymour (Evans 67), De Luca, Taylor, Lamont, Jackson (Weir 56), Laidlaw (Cusiter 67), Dickinson (Grant 56), Ford (Lawson 56), Moray Low, Richie Gray (Jonny Gray 62), Hamilton, Strokosch, Barclay (Beattie 66), Denton. Subs Not Used: Cross.

South Africa: le Roux, Pietersen, Fourie, de Villiers (Engelbrecht 72), Habana, Lambie, du Preez (Pienaar 66), Steenkamp (Mtawarira 57), Strauss (du Plessis 61), Malherbe (Oosthuizen 37), Botha (Etzebeth 60), van der Merwe, Louw (Steyn 76), Alberts (Coetzee 41), Vermeulen.

Attendance: 49,278

Referee: Jerome Garces (France).

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