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Springboks battle back to defeat Scots

Scotland delivered a hugely improved performance on the second game of their South African tour, but it was not enough to prevent a 30-17 defeat at the hands of the hosts.

The tourists now meet Italy next week in Pretoria to try to avoid finishing last in the four-team tournament they have been taking part in.

Matt Scott and Alex Dunbar crossed for tries with Greig Laidlaw booting a penalty and two conversions but a penalty try for South Africa and further five-pointers from JJ Engelbrecht and Jan Serfontein was enough for the hosts.

Scotland's tackling was determined and the attacking play incisive, with captain Laidlaw finding lots of holes around the fringe of the rucks, while Scott in the centre was also creating plenty of problems for the home defence.

It had to pay off, first with a Laidlaw penalty after near misses for Alasdair Strokosch and Scott twice. The gap was created by a moment of brilliance from Tommy Seymour, the wing winning his first cap, who spotted a gap, ran through and chipped over Springbok full-back Willie Le Roux. Scotland recycled the ball and had a five-man overlap when Scott ambled over the line.

South Africa had stayed in touch with a couple of penalties from fly-half Morne Steyn - but when they had the chance to cut the gap to a single point with a third kickable penalty, they opted instead to go for the corner and a line-out maul but the Scots stood firm.

It was soon to get even better as Tim Swinson, another of the impressive debutants, drove up the middle. Again, though he was stopped a couple of yards short, he had done the damage and centre Dunbar was out wide to finish off the overlap.

Steyn kicked a penalty into the corner and when Scotland were ruled to have collapsed the maul, referee Roman Poite went straight under the posts to give the home side a penalty try.

A line-out misfire handed the hosts the ball after Jim Hamilton was sin-binned, they piled upfield, pummelled the Scots line and centre Engelbrecht went over for the score that put them ahead for the first time on the hour mark.

Replacement fly-half Patrick Lambie kicked a penalty to increase the cushion to six points and replacement centre Serfontein exploited the mounting Springbok pressure to wriggle over in the dying seconds to add a scarcely deserved gloss to the result.


From Belfast Telegraph