The Springboks displayed the kind of hard hitting rugby they are famous for yesterday against Scotland in their third pool match of the RWC.
After an embarrassing 32-34 defeat against Japan in their first pool match, South Africa’s hopes for the Boks sank to an unprecedented low. Two weeks later coach Heyneke Meyer managed to select the perfect starting XV to trump previous pool leader, Scotland, 34-16.
With Fourie du Preez at the helm for the first time, the green and gold was distinctively different from the team that ran up against Japan.
With previous captain Jean de Villiers out of the picture game changer Damian de Allende took up the inside center position, partnering up with Jesse Kriel on the outside, which made a hell of a difference to the backs.
The presence of Lood de Jager at lock had a massive impact on the game. The 22-year-old is a great offensive defender and was vital at cleaning out the rucks with Eben Etzebeth.
The first try came 11 minutes into the game where a massive team effort by Schalk Burger and the two Du Plessis brothers managed to shove down the ball right next to the left side of the posts.
Pollard’s boot proved to be worthy of the jersey as he shot the ball between the posts several times to accumulate 19 points for the team. Not to mention the beautiful dropped goal he booted in the 51st minute.
Just before half time a Springbok line-out on the Scottish 10 metre line turned into a rolling maul, from which captain Du Preez make a break and shot a well-timed pass to thunderbolt JP Pieterson, who pushed the ball over the chalk line.
In the second half Scotland came back after 24-year-old fly-half Duncan Weir intercepted a long flat pass from the Boks and loaded off to Tommy Seymour to score.
In the last 10 minutes Brian Habana finally got his gap to bring the final score to 34-16 for the Boks.
Although the Boks had a solid game their weaknesses lie in their discipline. They gave away four penalties, which will not be tolerated by stronger teams such as Australia and New Zealand.
The Boks currently hold the top position on the Pool B log with one last game against USA left (Wednesday 7 October, 16:45 at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park).
After a bumpy start the Boks are back in business and still stand a chance to take Webb Ellis home again.
Pitched & Unpublished: 3 October 2015.