The Springboks kept their opponents scoreless for the first time in more than two years when they beat Scotland by 28-0 (half-time 21-0) in dreary conditions at Murrayfield in Scotland on Sunday.
The last time the Boks managed to keep their opponents from scoring any points, was at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011, when they beat Namibia 87-0.
Scotland’s last zero was in 2007, when they lost their Rugby World Cup pool game against New Zealand in Edinburgh by 40-0. It was the Boks' biggest win over the Scots since 27 November 2004, when they won by 45-10 at Murrayfield
The Boks scored four tries – by Willem Alberts, Willie le Roux, JP Pietersen (in his 50th Test) and Coenie Oosthuizen – in a very good victory. Pat Lambie converted all four tries and missed only one kick at goal.
It was the second consecutive match on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour where the Boks didn’t concede a single try and the defence was yet again very good, especially late in the match, when the Scots threw everything they had into the match.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer was a relieved and happy man afterwards, saying the cold and wet conditions really tested his team.
“We will take four tries to nil in a test match any day of the week and I thought we produced a good performance in this match,” said Meyer.
“We knew what to expect from Scotland. They are physical and hard, and we knew they would have worked at halting our driving, so I must give credit to our forwards coach Johann van Graan for the way he changed our drive set-ups.
“The line-out was another area we worked hard on, and it paid off with our performance in that phase in the first half. Unfortunately we didn’t get much ball from the lineouts later in the game when it was wet, which was frustrating.”
Their try tally in Edinburgh have pushed the Boks up to 46 for the season at an average of more than four per match. South Africa’s season comes to an end on Saturday in Paris, when they take on the unpredictable French. The Boks have not beaten Les Bleus in France since 1997.
“If we win in Paris it will give us an 80 percent plus record for the year, and there have not been many occasions when the Boks have managed that in the post-isolation era, so I will be very happy with that,” said Meyer.
“The good thing is that it is a happy squad, and I think the character and team spirit was shown again in the last few minutes when we did a lot of defending.
“I wanted to work on our defence, and the fact that we kept the Scots to no points is pleasing. We have now scored seven tries on this tour and the opposition hasn’t crossed our line. That is a tribute to both our organisation and our attitude.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers said: “The difficult conditions had an effect in the second half. We dad couple of opportunities – one being the intercept I didn’t catch, which could’ve changed the flow of the game.
“But Scotland definitely played better in the second half. We got pinged a few times at the breakdown and we’re not happy with that.
“Considering the circumstances though, I would take 28-0 at Murrayfield any day of the week. To conclude, we were happy with way we started, but not happy with way we finished.”
Two Springboks left the field injured in the second half – Frans Malherbe and Francois Louw.
Louw should be fine to play in Paris and was only taken off as a precaution after he sustained a blow to the neck, but Malherbe picked up a rib cartilage injury and is in doubt for the France Test. Both will be monitored over the next 48 hours.