The UK Media were unanimous in their praise for the Springboks dismantling of Scotland, describing the win as the performance expected of world champions, writes Mark Keohane.
Most focused on the brutal opening quarter and a fabulous final quarter, which belonged exclusively to the Springboks.
Eben Etzebeth dominated the rave reviews, alongside Malcolm Marx and the famed bomb squad.
There was also praise for captain Siya Kolisi, the midfield of Lukhanyo Am and Damien de Allende and the finishing of winger Makazole Mapimpi.
Elsewhere there was much purple prose for Ireland demolishing the All Blacks and a mixed bag for England’s performance against Australia. Both Ireland and England won easily and it was down to the Springboks and Argentina (predictable winners against Italy) to balance the scale for the southern hemisphere.
The Boks, who have been going non-stop since the British & Irish Lions series in July, will play their 13th and final Test of the season against England at Twickenham, in a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final, which the Boks ruthlessly won 32-12.
England’s players have spoken of it as a revenge match and the kind of match that will set them up to challenge for the Six Nations.
England coach Eddie Jones hasn’t been shy to let the media know what the match means to England and how much they are investing in the outcome. It is the Autumn scalp the English covet the most.
South Africa’s set piece remains supreme. They scored a couple of fine tries either side of half-time, Makazole Mapimpi as deadly as ever in claiming both, but the slower-burning virtues of his mates inside were the telling factors. Scotland’s scrum was in trouble throughout, and then their line-out imploded too.
The final quarter was entirely South Africa’s, turning the screw in such a variety of painful ways, at the scrum, the line-out and the breakdown. Scotland had glimpses with three attacking line-outs. All of them were lost, the Springbok locks laying waste to the home team’s set piece. Reality had tapped the Scots on the shoulder. And it really hurt.
The rugby journalists were awed by the Bok set piece and collectively wrote of their menace, discipline and ownership, but Scotland captain Stuart Hogg was again defiant in believing it was a case of Scotland being their own worst enemies more than the Boks being world champions.
Hogg conceded the Boks deserved the win but he couldn’t and wouldn’t concede his Scottish team had been hammered. Remember, it was Hogg, after the Lions series defeat, who claimed Scotland would knock over the Boks because of their style of play.
“You could say the Springboks were dominant, I would probably disagree. I would say we shot ourselves in the foot at times.
‘You could say the Springboks were dominant, I would probably disagree. I would say we shot ourselves in the foot at times.’
The Daily Mail
Springboks wing Makazole Mapimpi scored two tries but it was the tourists’ forward dominance that laid the platform for a resounding 30-15 victory over Scotland. The Springbok pack put in a powerful performance at the set-piece and breakdown in an impressive show of brute force.
South Africa turned it up a notch in the second half as their much-vaunted Bomb Squad came off the bench to add fresh forward power that Scotland simply could not counter.
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