What the South African newspapers said about Scotland 20-26 South Africa

South Africa's Malcolm Max and Scotland's Peter Horne battle for possession. Picture: SNS Group
South Africa's Malcolm Max and Scotland's Peter Horne battle for possession. Picture: SNS Group
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A round-up of how the South African press reacted to the Springboks’ 26-20 win over Scotland at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

The Herald Live referred to the “tough test” posed by a “very good Scotland team”, and quotes Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus as saying: “We’re learning how to close games and that’s why we won this game, because Scotland were as good as us on the day.”

City Press wrote: “The Springboks made heavy weather of beating Scotland in Edinburgh last night to record their second win on their tour of Europe in three games, with the finale against Wales to come on Saturday.”

Rudolph Jacobs for The Citizen said: “There were times where Rassie Erasmus’ troops looked laboured and unsettled by a more imaginative home side, yet they also showed enough cutting edge to capitalise on their limited opportunities and delivered moments of brilliance on defence and in the collisions to probably prove worthy winners.”

Jacobs continued: “Scotland fell in the trap of forcing play once they fell behind and, instead of making use of their superior possession, merely undermined their cause through unforced errors. That’s unfortunately, for the Scots, invariably the nature of Test rugby.”

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Writing in IOL, Ashfak Mohamed said: “Considering the record Scotland have at Murrayfield, where they have beaten England, Australia and Ireland, [Rassie] Erasmus will be pleased that his team could pull it through in the end.

IOL also carried quotes from Erasmus, who was effusive in his praise for Scotland.

“To beat a team that has become a real force in world rugby, a team that is on the up, in the middle of a good home run, is satisfying,” Erasmus is quoted as saying.

“The current world rankings don’t indicate how tough it is to come and play here and we could have lost the game in the dying minutes.”

In The South African, Erasmus told Siviwe Breakfast: “We’re definitely not the finished product yet, but we are slowly growing into a better team.”

iAfrica ran quotes from Boks captain Siya Kolisi, who said: “Today was very tough, all credit to Scotland. With their record, we knew how big of a challenge it was.”

Sport24 quoted Erasmus as saying: “We weren’t better than Scotland. If we played them tomorrow we wouldn’t know who the winner would be. That’s how good they were.”

Erasmus also told Sport24: “I’ve been at many Test match venues and I’ve played [at Murrayfield] and for me, this was special. The whole build-up and the way they did it... it was different.

“There was respect from the Scotland crowd for both teams when the kickers kicked. When the Scottish team got a roll on you could feel the crowd getting behind them.

“If we allowed that to continue we could have felt the pressure. When we had the yellow card, I felt that if they got a roll on we would have been in trouble.”

The Age, meanwhile, chided Scotland for “over-adventurous play with ball in hand in their own 22.”