The Springboks kickstarted their Rugby World Cup title defence with a 18-3 win over Scotland in their Pool B opener at the Stade Velodrome in France last night.
Using their traditional slow poison, the victory wasn’t always pretty and fans would have been worried at half time with the Boks entering the break with a 6-3 buffer.
The worrying factor in the first half was their insistence on kicking the ball away in an attempt to suffocate Scotland in their own half and force them into mistakes.
It won them a shot at goal in the 10th minute after a knock on from a high ball from Scotland led to the Boks winning a scrum penalty, which flyhalf Manie Libbok, who missed three attempts at goal, missed.
The pivot made amends two minutes later for the first points of the game when his opposite number Finn Russell deliberately knocked down a ball (3-0).
Terrier-like defence from Cheslin Kolbe, who had a good game, with a double hit led to Malcolm Marx winning a breakdown penalty to make it 6-0 for the Boks.
Scotland, though, had the last laugh of the half when Russell converted a scrum penalty to make it 6-3 at half time.
But the Boks were klaar gespeel with the Scots at half time and entered the second half with some real potency and a plan that saw them hold onto the ball more.
They then scored the first try of the match via Pieter-Steph du Toit who barged over two minutes after the break (11-3).
With 30 minutes to go, Libbok gave the perfect cross kick for right wing Kurt-Lee Arendse to run in, with Faf de Klerk, who replaced Libbok as the kicker, converting to make it 18-3.
Springboks 18 Scotland 3
Springboks - Tries: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Kurt-Lee Arendse; Conversions: Faf de Klerk; Penalties: Manie Libbok (2).
Scotland - Penalty: Finn Russell