Mapimpi at the double as Springboks down Scotland

·3-min read
Try hero - South Africa's Makazole Mapimpi celebrates after scoring against Scotland (AFP/ANDY BUCHANAN)

Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries as world champions South Africa beat Scotland 30-15 at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Scotland had led 10-8 at the break after a try by captain Stuart Hogg but Mapimpi's converted score early in the second period saw the Springboks go five points clear.

Elton Jantjies then extended the lead with two further penalties to leave South Africa well in front at 21-10.

Hogg's second try reduced the Springboks' lead to five points but several further penalties, with Handre Pollard and Frans Steyn also getting on the scoreboard, helped South Africa record their seventh successive victory over Scotland.

South Africa, who opened their European campaign with a 23-18 win over Wales last week, round off their year against England at Twickenham on November 20 in a repeat of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.

"We just said at half-time to stay patient, and it was an awesome performance in the second half", Springboks lock Eben Etzebeth, the player of the match, told Amazon Prime.

Hogg, meanwhile, was left to rue what Scotland's high penalty count.

"Gutted, because at half-time we felt we were fully in control of the game," he said.

"But unfortunately we were then second best. We almost shot ourselves in the foot, it hurts.

"You can't give a team like South Africa, the world champions, easy avenues into the game."

South Africa dominated territory and possession in the opening quarter, with their pack on top at the scrum.

Yet it was Scotland who scored the first points of the match in the 17th minute when fly-half Russell kicked a 40-metre penalty.

But South Africa's pressure eventually saw them draw level six minutes later through No. 10 Elton Jantjies.

And they took the lead in the 28th minute.

Both teams had given up possession before South Africa moved the ball wide.

Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi drew Rufus McLean before his well-timed pass released Mapimpi, a World Cup final try-scorer, with the wing going in at the left corner

Jantjies scuffed the conversion but South Africa led 8-3.

Scotland, however, hit back five minutes before half-time with a superb try created by some typically inventive play from Russell.

His clever cross-field kick found Duhan van der Merwe, with the South Africa-born winger doing well to flick the ball back into play.

Russell then combined expertly with centre Chris Harris before, after a quick handling movement, full-back Hogg collected a bouncing ball for a try.

And with Russell landing the conversion, Scotland led 10-8 at the interval after Russell pulled a penalty with the last kick of the half.

South Africa kept Scotland deep inside their 22 early in the second half and the pressure led to another try for Mapimpi.

Lukhanyo Am fielded a loose ball and counter-attacked.

The ball was worked across the field before Damien de Allende expertly-timed pass sent Mapimpi in for a 43rd-minute score.

The Springboks went 15-10 ahead following Jantjies's conversion.

And they went two scores in front after Hogg was penalised for a 'seatbelt tackle', before another penalty put the visitors 11 points clear.

But heading into the final quarter, Scotland, who face Japan next week, hit back thanks to Hogg's second try.

After declining a kickable penalty, Russell drew a defender and shipped the ball on to van der Merwe.

His flipped pass over the top of the cover found Hogg, with the skipper's angled run seeing him go in at the corner, with his 24th try for Scotland equalling the national record shared Tony Stanger and Ian Smith.

But with Russell missing the conversion, his third off-target goal-kick of the match, South Africa were still 21-15 ahead.

With South Africa dominating the scrum and winning collisions up front as Etzebeth led the way, the Springboks strengthened their grip by forcing several more penalties in a second half they dominated with a score of 22-5.

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