Rope-a-dope Scotland score incredible try against South Africa
It was a first half in which South Africa dominated Scotland in terms of possession and – brutally – at scrum time. And yet, despite conceding the first try to a blazing Makazole Mapimpi burning up the touchline, they hosts put on a show with a try of their own.
Stuart Hogg finished off this sublime attack.
With the mercurial Finn Russell putting in a kick-pass to Duhan van der Merwe, he evaded the first tackle before passing inside to skipper Hogg. The full-back found Sam Skinner and as he looked for the follow-up pass, van der Merwe emerged out wide again.
The wing passed to centre Chris Harris, who flipped it inside again as he careered towards the touchline. Springboks scrum-half Herschel Jantjies tried to intercept but knocked it down, with Hogg on hand again to catch it on the bounce and finish off the sweeping attack.
The match officials looked at the play on the touchline as well as the knock down, but surmised that no one was in touch and that no Scot knocked on in the act of scoring.
Scotland opened the scoring against the run of play, after 15 minutes of rearguard action, with Finn Russell scoring three points from the tee. But after evening things up, the South Africans scored the first five-pointer, through the lethal Mapimpi. This was his 18th try in 24 Tests.
With centre Damian de Allende working the ball out to captain Siya Kolisi, the back-rower drew the defence before unleashing Mapimpi. He scorched past Rufus McLean and ran it in, with an outstretched Hogg unable to get near him.
At half-time Scotland led 10-8.
And guess what we got in the second half? Another pair of tries, one for Mapimpi, one for Hogg. The first owing again to some electric running, and the second from Scotland wokring the ball over the top of an aggressive but narrow Springboks defence.
At Scotland 15-21 South Africa, things were curiously poised with 15 minutes to go. Momentum swung… As did boots on penalty and conversion attempts going awry.
The Scots began to lose the breakdown battle as the half aged, with a couple of penalties for Handre Pollard and a single for Frans Steyn, the match ended 30-15 in the visitors’ favour.
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