EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — Tries from Willem Alberts, Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen and Coenie Oosthuizen led South Africa to a rampaging 28-0 win over Scotland on Sunday.
The Springboks outclassed their rivals with their usual power up front but also used some classy moves out wide to claim a second consecutive win in their November series after defeating Wales last week.
Scotland fought back in the second half but they were unable to score in front of their home fans as the Springboks defense held out. The Springboks got off to a flying start as Scotland conceded its first try after just five minutes when Alberts touched down. Le Roux extended the visitors' lead in the 29th minute, moments before his contribution saw Pietersen touchdown for a 21-0 lead.
Replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen added a fourth try in the 54th minute after Scotland succumbed to the South African pack's power. Pat Lambie converted all four tries. "We wanted to step up this weekend and we did that. We executed the game plan well. We took the opportunities we had," said Pietersen after winning his 50th cap for South Africa.
South Africa played the final 10 minutes with 14 men after losing replacement flanker Marcell Coetzee to the sinbin but Scotland was not able to take advantage of the numerical superiority. "They were a pretty good side that took every one of their chances," Scotland head coach Scott Johnson said. "I said to them at half-time that we have dug a pretty big hole here, let's not keep digging. And we didn't keep digging. We filled in a bit. But we were punished for our mistakes every time we got it wrong in the first half. They were very, very clinical."
Johnson made six changes to his side following their win against Japan, with second-row Richie Gray and Jim Hamilton reunited, while Toulon lock Bakkies Botha, who had not featured for his country since switching to France in 2011, was among five incomers to the Springboks side which beat Wales 24-15.
The Springboks immediately forayed into the Scotland 22 and were handed a penalty after Duncan Taylor tried to retrieve the ball from the ruck. After Lambie kicked the ball into the corner, Duane Vermeulen took it from the lineout and fed Alberts, who easily drove through the defense for South Africa's first try.
Overpowered in direct confrontation and struggling for possession, the Scots also failed to capitalize on two throw-ins from Ross Ford. Tommy Seymour was then sanctioned for a fault on Bryan Habana but Lambie missed his kick, pushing it to the right of the posts.
Under constant pressure, the Scots defended with courage but were punished in the 29th minute when they poorly ended a beautiful move with an intercepted pass as Le Roux raced away to score. Lambie converted just seconds before Le Roux broke through the defense again and sent a subtle kick over the right wing for Pietersen, who outpaced the Scottish defense and resisted a tackle to go over the line. Lambie lined up the conversion as the Springboks raced to a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Scotland showed a better face after the interval but made too many mistakes such as a wayward pass from Ruaridh Jackson, handed possession to the Springboks who kicked upfield, forcing Sean Maitland to concede a touch just a yard from the scoreline. Oosthuizen profited from the resulting line-out to barge over for another try and Lambie converted again.
Scotland came close to giving their fans something to cheer but Max Evans was denied a late consolation try after Habana managed to get a hand to Duncan Weir's kick. South Africa play France next, as they bring the curtain down on a year when they were beaten to the Rugby Championship title by New Zealand in a thrilling decider.