Scotland 10-21 South Africa, Murrayfield, November 17
Brave Scotland downed by Springboks
November 17, 2012
Date/Time: Nov 17, 2012, 14:30 local, 14:30 GMT
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Scotland 10 - 21 South Africa
Attendance: 58893  Half-time: 3 - 14
Tries: Pyrgos
Cons: Laidlaw
Pens: Laidlaw
Tries: Strauss 2
Cons: Lambie
Pens: Lambie 3
South Africa's Adriaan Strauss dots the ball down, Scotland v South Africa, Murrayfield, Scotland, November 17, 2012
Adriaan Strauss' dots down the first of two scores
© Getty Images

Match Analysis by ESPNscrum's Tom Hamilton

  • Man of the Match: South Africa's Francois Louw was superb in every facet of the game. Solid at the breakdown and a constant thorn in Scotland's side, the flanker was the Boks' outstanding player.
  • Key Moment: Scotland enjoyed much of the territory and possession in the last 30 minutes of the match but failed to score. Around the 63 minute mark they had a 5-metre lineout but Ross Ford's throwing was off and the Boks had a chance to clear their lines. It is moments like that that will frustrate Andy Robinson when reflecting on the game.
  • Hero of the Game: Adriaan Strauss bagged two tries for the Boks - his first two Test tries. Any moment when a front-rower trots in from 40 yards is a joy to behold and Strauss will look back on this game in the future with some fondness.
  • Villain of the Game: Mike Blair was not up to his usual high standard and his wayward pass that allowed Strauss to cross for his second try effectively lost Scotland the game.
  • Talking Point: George Clancy's refereeing at the breakdown was sometimes harsh on Scotland but it is no coincidence that Scotland were second best in the first-half, and conceded nine penalties, but got the edge in the second 40, and conceded just two penalties.
  • Play of the Game: Henry Pyrgos' try was straight off the training paddock. A solid lineout to Al Kellock just a few metres out from the Boks' try line and Pyrgos exploited a gap to dart through and dot the ball down - absolutely textbook.

A double from hooker Adriaan Strauss was enough to give South Africa a 21-10 win over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The Scots could not cope with a first-half physical barrage and Strauss went over after a maul before intercepting Mike Blair's pass early in the second period to help open up an 18-point lead. Replacement scrum-half Henry Pyrgos soon crossed for the home side and sparked half an hour of relentless pressure, but the home side missed a series of chances.

Scotland forced a series of short-range penalties but failed to take advantage through a mixture of poor decision-making, some desperate defending and crucial decisions by referee George Clancy. Andy Robinson's side had enough chances to at least equal the three tries they scored in last weekend's 51-22 defeat by New Zealand, but they had been posted missing as an attacking force throughout the first half, although they were not helped by the loss of Richie Gray to a head injury.

Robinson was expecting a direct threat from South Africa and they did not disappoint in the opening moments with several kicks towards Scotland's left side. The visitors chose to kick the ball into touch after an offside offence and looked set to drive over from the resulting maul, but referee Clancy pulled them up for obstruction. The tourists opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Patrick Lambie kicked a penalty after the Scots were penalised for holding on.

Scotland had barely been within 40 metres of the South Africa line but were level on 10 minutes when Greig Laidlaw kicked a long-range penalty, only for Laidlaw himself to be penalised for offside three minutes later and Lambie made no mistake with the penalty.

Gray took a heavy hit as the South Africa forwards quickly closed him down after a kick over the top and the pressure told in the 21st minute when the Springboks instigated a maul after a four-man lineout and once again drove Scotland back with Strauss touching down. Gray went off with concussion immediately after the try with Al Kellock coming on. There was some respite for Scotland as Lambie missed the conversion.

Springboks flanker Francis Louw then burst through the home defence and won a penalty from Murray with Lambie dispatching a simple kick to make it 14-3. A penalty near the halfway line on 33 minutes allowed Scotland to put their opponents under serious threat for the first time as they kicked for a lineout six metres from the try line.

Scotland's forwards exerted severe pressure as they looked for an opening but Clancy controversially penalised Kellock for holding on. Scotland survived the first wave of South Africa attacks after the break but some slack play at both ends of the park in the 46th minute led to them conceding a second try.

Hogg kicked well into the tourists' 22 but was too easily sidestepped by flanker Willem Alberts after chasing the ball. South Africa quickly worked the ball back into Scotland's half but Blair had possession under little stress and saw his pass intercepted by Strauss. The hooker quickly got the ball under control and ran 40 metres under the posts. Blair was replaced by Pyrgos as Lambie converted and he got Scotland back into the game in the 51st minute.

Scotland opted to kick for touch from a penalty and Pyrgos ran in unchecked inside of Kelly Brown to collect the instant pass and cross over. Scotland soon had South Africa on the rack and were moving the ball quickly but Laidlaw inadvertently relieved the pressure by trying to chip over the top.

The visitors could not break away though and Ruan Pienaar had a kick charged down as Scotland stepped up the pace. Jim Hamilton was over the line at one stage but was pushed back before he could touch down and Nick De Luca almost broke through as South Africa defended on their line.

Scotland forced a penalty and opted for a lineout but Ross Ford was penalised for not throwing straight, in what looked a marginal decision, and Clancy soon decided Scotland had collapsed the scrum. Brown's interception ensured the Springboks' respite was brief and Scotland forced another chance after a lineout from a penalty, but substitute Ruaridh Jackson attempted to kick over the try line from 10 metres out and Zane Kirchner comfortably averted the danger.

Again there was no let-up and Flip van der Merwe paid the price for the growing number of infringements when he was shown a yellow card in the 77th minute. Denton almost went over from the resulting set-piece and Scotland worked a chance on the left wing, but Tim Visser could not hold Jackson's close-range pass and the knock-on was called as De Luca crossed in the corner.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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