Following on from last weekend’s manhandling by a talented New Zealand outfit, Scotland will attempt to brush themselves down, re-group and line-up to face another rugby super power, South Africa, this weekend.
The visitors left it late to triumph against a determined Irish team – South Africa were lazy and slow to react during the opening half but quickly set things right straight from the restart, dominating the scrum and tormenting the Irish defense. Scotland will face a similar task as the Springboks have class and skill all over the pitch, lethal with or without the ball.
Reasons to back Scotland
The last time these two teams met at Murrayfield, Scotland ran out 21-17 winners, in a match which was closely fought in the trenches and out on the field. Scotland coach, Andy Robinson welcomes back the evangelical front row bruiser, Euan Murray, to his powerful pack, along with the exciting David Denton replacing the injured Ross Rennie in the back row.
Scotland take youth, excitement and a devil-may-care attitude into this weekend’s match-up. No one expects Scotland to run away with the match, nor do they expect the Scots to even win, but it will be a tight contest with everything up for grabs. Scotland’s youth will offer pace and endurance against a slow, methodological Springbok side.
The South Africans are enduring a bit of indifferent form of late – they have won just three of their last 8 fixtures, with notable loses against New Zealand, Australia and a draw against Argentina. The pressure is on for the visitors, they want to prove that last weekend was not just the luck of the Irish reversed. The main question to ask is: did Scotland show enough last weekend against the All Blacks to allow for the possibility that they could beat South Africa?
Reasons to back South Africa
The Springboks offer skill, strength and experience which ultimately got them the win against Ireland last weekend. They will be looking to draw the Scots into a slow, rumbling, tactical match in order to use the older more experienced South African pack against a younger Scottish front eight. The kicking skill of the outstanding scrum-half, Ruan Pienaar, is another notable threat as he alone will dictate how the pace of the match will go.
Springbok coach, Heyneke Meyer has made two changes from his team who won last weekend with loosehead prop Gurthro Steenkamp replacing CJ Van der Linde and Juan de Jongh taking the place of Jaco Taute at outside centre. South Africa are physical, strong and not afraid to fight, they will be prepared to run right over and through Scotland, no questions asked.
Prediction: South Africa to win by 14
by Alexander McLeman