Pollard leads Springboks to Murrayfield victory

South Africa's centre Jesse Kriel goes over for the opening try

South Africa's centre Jesse Kriel goes over for the opening try

Scotland have beaten Six Nations champions Ireland, England, France, Wales and Australia at Murrayfield in the last two years, with a narrow 22-17 defeat by New Zealand 12 months ago their only defeat in their 11 previous tests at home. The victory went South Africa's way but it could easily have been a different story and Greig Laidlaw will wonder about one kickable, second-half penalty that the Scotland skipper opted to aim at the sidelines.

In the second half Handre Pollard hit the post with a penalty, Hogg ran it back like an American footballer and only a last-ditch tackle prevented a length-of-the-field try.

South Africa were ruthless in the opening stages when Jesse Kriel powered through to score the opening try inside seven minutes.

With halftime approaching, Hamish Watson crashed over from a clever lineout move to level matters.

Erasmus knows exactly the kind of pressure an global coach faces when their side gets one over the reigning world champions after South Africa pulled off a shock 36-34 win against the All Blacks in Wellington in the Rugby Championship earlier this year.

The Boks' recent woes against Wales, specifically, must be especially frustrating to South Africans who still quite clearly remember the golden stint between 2000 and 2014 when the Springboks won as many as 16 in a row against the men in red and just seemed to have their measure even in the tightest of contests. "I really think that in the case of Embrose‚ we got it right‚" said Erasmus. We had enough opportunities to put points on the board off the back of that. "With their record, we knew how big of a challenge it was".

A Pollard penalty made it 20-17 at half-time but Laidlaw ensured parity soon after the break when Willie le Roux was penalised and sin binned after a botched attempted interception was ruled a deliberate knock down.

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"That's how you get better".

"Look I am sure the citing commissioner will take a look and if there was anything serious and we are in the wrong, what comes our way we have to accept", he added.

Moments later South Africa capitalised on some sloppy Scotland play to move back in front as captain Siya Kolisi starting a move that saw Pollard dive between two defenders to score.

Jones sliced through the Springboks' defence and cleverly offloaded to Maitland, before racing on to the ball again and providing the killer pass to Horne to dot down.

But neither the stadium nor the hosts scare the Springboks, who kept their noses in front with turnovers to beat Scotland a sixth straight time and third straight at Murrayfield.

While the first try showed more attacking flair, the second was a demonstration of how Scotland are implementing more invention from the training ground in their play. "There are definitely going to be some disappointed players against South Africa".

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