South Africa's Adriaan Strauss celebrates with Jean De
Villiers after scoring his first try against Scotland.
South Africa withstood a second-half fightback to down
Scotland 21-10 at Murrayfield to keep the southern hemisphere
sides well on top during the November internationals.
Having impressed when scoring three tries in their defeat by
the New Zealand last week, Scotland went into their shells in
the first 40 minutes against a tactically aware and powerful
They were staring into the barrel of a heavy defeat when
South African hooker Adriaan Strauss scored his second try of
the match early in the second half, but after reserve
halfback Henry Pyrgos finished off a well-worked move from a
lineout five minutes later, Scotland spent much of the match
camped in the opposition half.
They were unable to breach a resolute Springbok defence
however but will buoyed ahead of their final November
international against Tonga next Saturday.
The Scots will be desperate to win that match given they have
dropped to a world ranking of 10 and the third group of World
Cup seeds after Samoa's win over Wales on Friday.
South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said he was pleased with his
side's start, but rued the second-half penalty count.
"We couldn't get into the game," he told the BBC.
"All credit to Scotland - they played superbly, but it was
great defence by us to keep them out.
"It was not a great game but we will take an ugly win."
Scotland coach Andy Robinson paid tribute to the Springbok
"South Africa defended superbly well with the physicality
they brought to the tackle," he remarked.
"If they had not done that, it could have been a different
"You cannot afford to give penalties away like we did in the
first half, we gave them field position and territory.
"They scored from a maul which makes me very angry and then
from an interception."
South Africa made much of the early running but only had two
Pat Lambie penalties to show for their early dominance, while
Greig Laidlaw got the Scots on the board with a three-pointer
of his own.
The hosts were giving away too many penalties however, and
were made to pay on the 20-minute mark when Strauss scored
his first test try in his 20th outing, crashing over after an
unstoppable rolling maul left the Scottish defence in
Scotland suffered a second blow when lock Richie Gray was
forced to leave the pitch, having been hammered by two
Springbok tacklers before the try.
At that stage, Scotland were showing none of the attacking
verve they displayed against world champions New Zealand and
their only sustained period of pressure in the attacking 22
resulted in a South Africa penalty created by outstanding
flanker Francois Louw.
A further Lambie penalty saw his side grab a 14-3 lead at the
It got worse for Scotland early in the second half when
Strauss scored his second try.
It could not have been more different from his first, with
the 26-year-old intercepting a poor pass from halfback Mike
Blair and scampering close to 40 metres to score.
That was Blair's last act of the game and his replacement
Pyrgos sparked his side with a try straight from the training
Captain Kelly Brown won a lineout and passed on to Pyrgos,
who raced through a gaping hole to narrow the deficit.
They began to dominate the forward exchanges, but despite a
host of territory and possession, they were unable to find
the final pass their efforts deserved.
South Africa lost reserve lock Flip van der Merwe for the
final five minutes to a yellow card but the Boks defence
refused to be buckled, holding on for a second nervy victory
after last week's four-point defeat of Ireland.