South Africa made it two out of two on their British tour on Saturday by narrowly beating Scotland 10 – 14 on Saturday, after the Scots led 10 – 0 at halftime.
“For the second successive week it was the home coach who felt his team had played the better rugby and deserved to win, and Scotland’s Frank Hadden had even more right to do that here than Wales’ Warren Gatland did a week ago.
Scotland led 10-0 at half-time and were pressing for a try in the final minutes as they launched wave after wave of attack at a tired Bok defence. On a day where both kickers missed attempts at goal, it was Scotland who conspired most against themselves by fluffing no less than four shots at the posts.
It was not supposed to be this close against a Scottish team that now drops to ninth on the world rankings after this defeat, and which is at a low ebb at present. Just seven days ago the same Scotland team played the All Black second stringers and lost by 30 points, and much was made before this game of the fact the Scots had not crossed for a try at home in 14 months.
Nine South Afican Rugby players have been invited to play for the Barbarian team against the Wallabies at Wembley Stadium next month in London. They are:
Fourie du Preez; Gurthro Steenkamp; Nick Koster; Jean de Villiers; Bakkies Botha; Schalk Burger; Bryan Habana; John Smit and Percy Montgomery.
Ricky Januarie have replaced Fourie du Preez in the starting XV for the Sprinbok game against Scotland on Saturday. Du Preez injured a quadriceps muscle in training yesterday. Januarie’s place on the bench has been taken by utility forward Danie Rossouw.
Peter de Villiers named an unchanged team to play against Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday. Both Adrian Jacobs and Bakkies Botha have recovered from their injuries.
The team (Test Caps in brackets):
1. Beast Mtawarira (8)
2. Bismarck du Plessis (20)
3. John Smit (capt) (79)
4. Bakkies Botha (53)
5. Victor Matfield (78)
6. Schalk Burger (47)
7. Juan Smith (53)
8. Pierre Spies (17)
9. Fourie du Preez (43)
10. Ruan Pienaar (25)
11. Bryan Habana (44)
12. Jean de Villiers (44)
13. Adi Jacobs (19)
14. JP Pietersen (22)
15. Conrad Jantjes (22)
16. Brian Mujati (10)
17. Gurthro Steenkamp (19)
18. Andries Bekker (11)
19. Ryan Kankowski (5)
20. Ricky Januarie (32)
21. Frans Steyn (25)
22. Jaque Fourie (34)
It’s not often that 2.01 m tall Bok vice-captain Victor Matfield gets to look up to someone. That is exactly what he did when the Springbok team crossed paths with the WWE SuperStars at Cardiff Airport on Sunday.
The American wrestlers had touched down in the Welsh capital just as the Bok squad was getting ready to fly to Edinburgh on the second leg of its end-of-season Northern Hemisphere tour.
As the excited Bok players were spotting their favourite wrestlers, man-mountain Kali stopped to greet them and have his picture taken. He made the pride of South Africa look small in comparison.
Matfield, a tower of strength in the Bok second-row, was dwarfed by the seven-foot giant who chatted briefly before moving off to the waiting bus.
Kali was amongst more than 30 wrestlers in the group. The Bok players who are keen followers of the WWE action on TV back home were in awe as the many well-known characters passed by.
An intercept try by Jean de Villiers saved the World Champion Boks from a humiliating defeat against Wales on Saturday, with the experimenting by Peter de Villiers with Ruan Pienaar and John Smit having gone pretty smoothly. The Springboks won 20 – 15, with the halftime score 13 – 3.
“De Villiers’ try, converted by Ruan Pienaar, made it 20-3 with 28 minutes to go – 28 anxious minutes for the Springboks as replacement flyhalf James Hook slotted four penalties, Jaque Fourie was yellow-carded after the Boks had received a general warning for killing the ball at the breakdown and Smit spent a few minutes off the field having a cut on his nose stitched up.
Fortunately, though, the Welsh did not possess the necessary skill or accuracy to really make the Springboks pay and they were able to survive a scrappy performance to get their tour off to a winning start.
After opening the scoring with a superb try, completed by Adi Jacobs, as early as the fifth minute it did not seem as though the Boks would have too much trouble putting the Welsh away, especially when Ruan Pienaar, who had converted the try, added a penalty to make it 10-0 after just eight minutes.
However the Boks did not kick on against a team having their first outing since losing two tests to South Africa in June.
1906: South Africa vs Wales 11-0 at St Helen’s Ground, Swansea
1912: South Africa vs Wales 3-0 at Cardiff Arms Park
1931: South Africa vs Wales 8-3 at St Helen’s Ground, Swansea
1951: South Africa vs Wales 6-3 at Cardiff Arms Park
1960: South Africa vs Wales 3-0 at Cardiff Arms Park
1964: South Africa vs Wales 24-3 at Kings Park Stadium, Durban
1970: Draw 6-6 at Cardiff Arms Park
1994: South Africa vs Wales 20-12 at Cardiff Arms Park
1995: South Africa vs Wales 40-11 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
1996: South Africa vs Wales 37-20 at Cardiff Arms Park
1998: South Africa vs Wales 28-20 at Wembley Stadium, London
1998: South Africa vs Wales 96-13 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
1999: Wales won 29-19 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2000: South Africa vs Wales 23-13 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2002: South Africa vs Wales 19-8 at Newlands
2002: South Africa vs Wales 34-19 at Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein
2004: South Africa vs Wales 53-18 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
2004: South Africa vs Wales 38-36 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2005: South Africa vs Wales 33-16 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2007: South Africa vs Wales 34-12 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
2008: South Africa vs Wales 37-21 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
2008: South Africa vs Wales 43-17 at Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein