452. From The Couch: Match #25

Scotland 16 – 34 South Africa

A game of inches, indeed.

In this case, the inches of discipline and accuracy that are the difference between a pass sticking, a penalty given, offsides, and yellow cards. All those inches added up to a scoreboard that was far more comfortable for South Africa than the play would suggest up to the 70th minute.

In large part that is because Scotland have such limited strike power. Verve, and passion, and cohesion, but very limited ability to punch a hole through a well-drilled defence. Their one try was the result of a finger-tip bobbled intercept in their own 22.

The worry for South Africa will be that they gave away so many penalties, and therefore gave away pressure. The uptick will be the form of Handre Pollard at first-five, including a sweet as a pea drop kick.

Pool B remains wide open, with South Africa, Scotland and Japan all chances of proceeding or going home.

About Ned Davy

By hokey, the big fella’s tipped into his 50s. A rangy loose forward in his prime, good with the ball in hand, but rarely up with the play any more.
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