Springboks 55, Scotland 6


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The Springboks have six changes to their starting XV  and a whole new bench – as migratory birds have flown north.

What has been changed is the team that beat Wales last week by a single point with a penalty try near the end.

The Scots are intrinsically weak, coming second last in the 2014 Six Nations and they managed that by beating Italy by a single point – thanks to a dropped goal by Duncan Weir in the last minute.

Recent results:
2013: South Africa won 28-0, Edinburgh
2013: South Africa won 30-17, Nelspruit
2012: South Africa won 21-10, Edinburgh
2010: Scotland won 21-17, Edinburgh
2008: South Africa won 14-10, Edinburgh
2007: South Africa won 27-3, Edinburgh
2006: South Africa won 29-15, Port Elizabeth
2006: South Africa won 36-16, Durban
2004: South Africa won 45-10, Edinburgh
2003: South Africa won 28-19, Johannesburg
2003: South Africa won 29-25, Durban


South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield (captain), 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Teboho Mohoje, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Marnitz Boshoff, 23 Zane Kirchner.

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Peter Horne, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Henry Pyrgos, 8 Adam Ashe, 7 Chris Fusaro, 6 Robert Harley, 5 Grant Gilchrist (captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Kevin Bryce, 17 Moray Low, 18 Euan Murray, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Tyrone Holmes, 21 Grayson Hart, 22 Dougie Fife, 23 Peter Murchie.

Date: Saturday, June 28
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT; 16.00 BST)
Expected weather: Clear with a high of 19°C, dropping to 10°C  
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)

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Better known as Bunny, Took over after Pissant went over to the "Dark Side"


  1. That was a pulverising all over the paddock for the try… early days but Coenie certainly showing what he brings in the loose… along with all the rest….

  2. Pollard looks like he’s been in the mix for years…

    Love seeing HM going ballistic… well not really but it does crack me up…

  3. Only aspect of play they are lacking in so far is getting driven off their own ball… Aus/NZ will punish that…

  4. What is the point of playing JPP at 13 in every game if he is not even available for the entire Rugby Championship?

  5. LDJ scores show that HM should expose all players to Messerschmitt Willie. His offensive nous is just that contagious.

    This bodes well for soon-to-be-Cheetah…..
    Handy Pollard – who really added some nose to the #10 spot.

    He’ll open up more stuff out wide for the SunKing & pals with defenses having to keep an eye inside.

    What of the #9 spot? Not the French #9 spot – we know who thats going to. Hmmmm…..

  6. I wonder if HM is on some sort of about turn
    re younger players.
    He did not HAVE to give caps and blazers to
    ALL of today’s debutants. How many of them
    will soon see a second test?
    Not in the Rugby Championship, that’s for
    sure – or is it?

    Serfontein coming to the fore. Yet to be convinced
    about JPP at 13. Interim move only?

  7. I reckon Lood, Pietersen and Serfontein could have taken MoM

    Impressed by Hougaard return. He gave snappy service and let Pollard call plays… good choice.

  8. @DavidS: Interesting, I thought that at first there was a clear difference in the quality of service when FdP went off, but Houghard is such an amazing player he makes up for it in other ways. He did seem to be more urgent with his service as the game went on.

  9. Not much of a test match, but was still very impressed with Pollard. Very solid debut. Amazing what a difference it makes when a 10 occasionally challenges the line.

  10. @DavidS:

    Marcell’s stealing at the breakdown… his tackling… two tries… excellent break and off-load for LDJ’s try edged him for me over those…

    JPP was exceptional too… his break and then deft touch off left foot for Mvovu’s try was sublime… not too mention his own try in corner tacking 3 defenders with him was vintage Jacques Fourie…

    But here’s the problem… he will not be playing in the RC… so shouldn’t someone else have been there instead?

  11. @Jacques(Bunny):

    What do you mean?

    JDV @12 with either of the rest at 13? If it was to be JJ again why didn’t he play the Scotland game even if only off the bench? I realise the rest were injured and neither Serfontein/De Allende are 13’s…

  12. Matter of interest… Valke have now handed all the SEC teams hidings SWD and now Border…

    Valke 54 (12) Border Bulldogs 40 (26)

    The Valke turned in a superb second-half performance on their way to a 54-40 (half-time 12-26) victory over the Border Bulldogs at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.

    Border had made a flying start at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park with veteran lock Gareth Krause scoring an unconverted try in the seventh minute. The Valke struck back six minutes later when hooker Chris Richardson crashed his way over before Border flyhalf Thembani Mkokeli restored the visitor’s lead with his first of two tries in the half.

    Left wing Lindani Ndelela and Mkokeli, in first-half injury time, both score converted tries as Border eased to a 26-12 lead at half-time.

    Lock Wayne Lemley added to the lead with a try within less than a minute of restart before the Valke clawed their way back. Left wing Grant Jancke streaked over for a try three minutes in to the half before tries from Kotze, scrumhalf Anrich Richter, flank Tobie Verwey, right wing Coert Cronje and replacement wing Etienne Taljaard secured an exciting victory.

    The Bulldogs only added one more try to their total with replacement pivot Oliver Zono grabbing a consolation try with six minutes left in the game.


    Valke: Tries: Chris Richardson, Cecil Dumond, Grant Jancke, Juan Kotze, Anrich Richter, Tobie Verwey, Coert Cronje, Etienne Taljaard; Conversions: Kotze (7).

    Border Bulldogs: Tries: Gareth Krause, Thembani Mkokeli (2), Lindani Ndelela, Wayne Lemley, Oliver Zono; Conversions: Masixole Banda (5).

    It is scandalous that race politics saw a Currie Cup side that gave us so many stars being sidelined for political racial politics expediency….

  13. @bryce_in_oz:

    I’d say it is because HM is not seeing some matches as preparation for others. Every Test match is important all by itself and he has pretty much selected the best available team for each.

    There is also the issue of a number of young inexperienced players and he needed some wise heads among them.

  14. @Timeo:

    How do you gauge your best available at 13 when only the 3rd best is available and has been given zero game time…

    JPP was exceptional at 13 against Scotland and great/good in the two Welsh tests… but the fact of the matter is that they are now heading into the RC without him and no other 13 has had test time… not even off the bench… and I’m under the impression JF is not available either…

  15. The other bugbear I had with the Scotland game was playing the new TH (a position the Boks are farked at when JDP goes down) VDM at LH for most his gametime when there was another LH on the bench… ludicrous…

    The buffer was there at 50mins… Marcel VDM should have taken JDP’s spot… not Coenie’s…

    Other than that was a good ‘blooding’ practice test against the Scots…

  16. @bryce_in_oz:

    How do you and I gauge the best available players if they don’t get game time? We can’t.

    For the coach it’s a different matter. He worked, tested and measured the players whilst they were off the field and should have a pretty accurate sense of who is better than whom at any point in time.

    Why should he make decisions during matches for no other purpose than informing the fans?
    What would be the purpose?

  17. @Timeo:

    I’m not talking about you or I… and I’m not talking about who the coach sees as his pecking order…

    The simple fact is if combinations are not getting game-time in the test arena against opposition combinations that are… I dare say it’s pretty obvious who has the advantage…

    At best the Boks are currently heading into the RC with a rookie 12 partnering with his Bulls team-mate with zero test game time this season…

    Or a returning rusty captain partnering with either the same 13 with zero test time this season, or a non specialist and perhaps JDJ with zero game time (which couldn’t be helped)…

    Compare that with

    NZ first test 12/13 Nonu/Smith with Fekitoa getting game time

    NZ second test 12/13 Nonu/Smith with Fekitoa on the bench

    NZ third test 12/13 Nonu/Fekitoa and the third 13 Crotty fitting in and getting game time…

    Smith will be back and they now have their 3 first choice 13’s with gametime heading into the RC…

    The Boks have zero in comparison…

    So again… if JPP was never going to be available for the RC… just what was the point of him even being in the team against an extremely weak Scottish side?

    Wales yes (Scotland no)…

  18. @bryce_in_oz:

    And it’s the same for the Wallabies…

    1st test Toomua/Kuridrani with Beale/McCabe
    2nd test Toomua/Kuridrani with Beale/McCabe
    3rd test Toomua/Kuridrani with Beale/Horne

    All 5 of their first choice centre combo’s getting game time heading into the RC…

    Not the case with the Boks…

  19. Now you’re back to these matches being nothing more than warm ups for the RC.

    I don’t like that plan.

    Neither do I think that a player can improve through “game-time”. Not in the modern professional game.

    If JJ (or whomever play) turns out to be “not good enough” against Aus and NZ, then him playing against Wales and Scotland would not have made him “good enough” either.

    What would have been the purpose then?
    Other than showing the fans something, the coaches already knew.

  20. I do not know who #13 is. I agree with Bryce point. The Tri-Nations is EVERYTHING.
    If JPP can’t play who is #13?
    HM is a genius as evidenced by his Messerschmitt/Hendricks/Schalk Brits selections.
    But its not like he’s infallible – he’s not the Pope as evidenced by his leaving out Heinrich “The Real Honey Badger” Brussouw.

    Luckily SA has Argentina for target practice the first two games.

    Lastly, I am glad Australia is putting in the study hours & prep as their last Tri-Nation performance was an abject horror show.
    Cheers to them for their due diligence to avoid embarassing the sport of rugby union AGAIN this summer. How many league fans did they create last year? The horror…
    I applaud their efforts & wish them the best.

  21. My guess is, the original plan was for Steyn at 12 and de Villiers at 13.

    Steyn not wanting to be team player made settling on a 12 priority. That’s done. Serfontein and de Villiers seems like a pretty competent pair to me.

    Serfontein just have to be careful. Running over Dan Carter is liable to get you carded.

  22. I love it though. Rugby at it’s most beautiful is when a ball carrier runs straight over a defender.

    Running at the gap is for sissies.

    I watch Waratah games just to see Jack-Pot do it.

  23. @Timeo:

    Sorry mate but you’re never going to change my thinking that the game against a weakened Scottish side should not be used for getting lesser combinations going… nor that giving combinations game-time does not improve their performance by quite some measure…

    Nick Mallet has just this week stated as much.

    It’s too early to say who will be standing for selection after a few more S15 games… but the fact remains there is no 13 that has had game-time in that position available for selection… even if only off the bench… and the same stands for a 12/13 combo.

    And the same applies to the back-up TH position… Coenie was a failure there (jury is out if he can even revert back to LH now) and Marcel VDM was played at his non-preferred LH with a LH on the bench when there was a huge score buffer to rectify that…

    Other than that I’ve been happy with 85% of HM’s processes (even a politician enforced fast-tracking of a VC player)…


    I doubt it… he’s been building quite some depth… or attempting to.

    As for the 12/13 debate… provided the are injury free… IMO he’ll go with JDV/Serfontein and JDJ off the bench over JJ.


    I felt for the Scottish 10/12/13 every time Serfontein accelerated like the Tassie Devil after receiving the ball at pace…

    Jack-Pot and even worse the quicker 202cm 125kg Skelton…