Home November Internationals Test Preview : South Africa vs Scotland

Test Preview : South Africa vs Scotland


Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus and his charges head to Murrayfield to face a Scottish team fired up and full of belief that they can get  their 5th win home win over the Springboks.

The Springboks are coming off the back of a close loss to England where rust and lack of accuracy looked to hamper them and a pirated win against France where combinations and tactics failed and it was left to an 85th minute driving maul to register a shock win.

Erasmus has selected a squad that shows he is not taking this fixture lightly, Scotland have troubled the Springboks regularly in their last few fixtures.

Injury to Warren Whiteley may have been a blessing in diguise in that the loose trio selected has a much better balance to it, company of  Kolisi, Du Toit and Vermuelen is one that many punters would pencil down as their first choice. Francois Louw will provide menace from the bench.

Staying with the pack, Eben Etzebeth’s presence will be missed but in RG Snyman and Franco Mostert you have a second row willing and capable of getting around the Murrayfield paddock a thousand times over.

Among the backs Embrose Papier finally gets an opportunity to start, the weather forecast for Saturday has no mention of rain and hopefully Papier and Pollard will allow the team to play the tempo that they looked most dangerously at this year.

The Springboks won many plaudits and had many disenchanted fans return earlier in the year playing a high tempo game and looked rather ponderous when reverting to  a conservative tactical structure, it’s widely believed that Papier is key to correctly unlocking the prior game .

Much has been made of the Scots recent history at Murrayfield and with good cause, the single loss of the last 10 fixtures was to the All Blacks and it only a Barrett cover tackle on Stuart Hogg that denied Scotland arguably their greatest sporting moment.

The Springboks over the last 2 years have been setting records of their own but none that they would be especially proud of, in years gone by a victory against the Scots would be a given whereas now a victory would be deemed a massive achievement and go a long way to re-establishing confidence  .

Accuracy will be key for the visitors, theres been too many bad decisions taken and points squandered that have cost the team results this season, anything other than a focussed 80 minutes will prove catastrophic to the tour.

Prediction: Springboks by 8 points

The teams:

Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Sam Skinner, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Chris Harris

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe

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  1. The Springboks will take this one if they are seriously focused.

    Unfortunately, they have a bad habit of grossly underestimating less glitzy teams (anything non NZ) and almost always get their asses kicked when that happens.

    This Scotland team is a seriously good team who have got a few noteworthy scalps recently, all of whom underestimated them.

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