Scotland vs South Africa: Preview and Prediction
I missed last week’s games due to a faaantastic wedding but thanks to Super Sport replaying the game time and again have managed to catch most of the action from last Saturday. I was of course following the live commentary on my phone and had to apologise on more than one occasion for swearing out loud during the speeches.
Two things are certain from last week, firstly, we do not possess the skill sets to run the ball from our own half, ala the All Blacks. I am not saying we cannot get there but at the moment our attack is very poor. Secondly, we play so much better when we stick to our traditional strengths. Kick the ball into the opposition’s half, smash them in defense, set up rolling mauls, drive them back, secure penalties and win. Easy peasy.
This week we take on a Scottish side who seem fairly confident of a victory, even after being smashed 51-22 by the All Blacks. Er… why? Yes, they managed to score three tries against the All Blacks but they were without most of their regular players and the Scots still conceded 6 tries.
So is this new-found confidence enough to inspire a win? Will the Bokke’s forward dominance not materialise and will they somehow manage to lose to Scotland for a 2nd consecutive time? My mind says “no” and my heart says “Go FiretrUCK yourself for even asking”. Well played, heart.
Scotland vs Springboks
Scotland managed to beat a vastly more experienced Bok side in 2010 in muddy conditions and will be keen to repeat that performance. Strangely, it seems that their huge loss to the All Blacks has received warm congratulations from the media and past players have come forward with bold predictions of a win against the Bokke this week. I, for one just don’t see it.
Coach Meyer has made two changes to the run on side, (finally) bringing in Juan De Jongh to partner captain Jean de Villiers at centre and giving experienced prop Gurthro Steenkamp a run after the Beeeeast was sent home for a minor heart op. I would have liked to see Jaco Taute, who is on the bench, moved to fullback instead of Zane Kirchener and Elton Jantjies on the bench instead of Morne Steyn but otherwise this is a very strong team.
While Scotland are always a danger in wet and slippery conditions (just ask Australia) they have struggled to beat most sides when it is dry, even at home. They have solid players especially in their forwards but none are better than their Bok counterparts. Andy Robinson has a poor record as the Scottish coach and his game plan and coaching was famously slated and then ignored by his England players, who went on to make the RWC 2007 Final.
The Bokke were woeful in the first half last week but managed to turn it around and dominate most facets of play in the second half. They were the fitter side then and are almost definitely the fitter side this week. The shocking first half will mean there is no complacency agaisnt the Scots and if they can put in a better first half performance, will run away with the game in the second half. Expect a toit beginning followed by a comfortable victory for the Bokke as they look to fine tune for next week.
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-Off: 4:30pm (SA time)
Referee: Nigel Owens
Scotland vs Springboks prediction: Bokke by 13-20
In other games, Wales will beat Samoa, All Blacks will destroy Italy, Australia will surprise England, Ireland will beat Fiji, USA will beat Tonga and the Pumas will beat France.
Boom, you heard it here first.