Rugby Union: Scotland have to suffer a humiliating lesson by Mpumalanga

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The Independent Online
Mpumalanga 24 Scotland 21

Scotland dropped back down to earth last night with a humiliating defeat by Mpumalanga at Nelspruit after the elation of winning against Northern Transvaal on Friday night.

But the tourists could have no complaints about the final result after putting on by far their worst performance of the South African tour, in which they committed basic errors and allowed Mpumalanga to control the game defensively.

Scotland, after dictating matters in the first quarter, suffered a setback when Mpumalanga, in a rare attacking move, showed the way to the line with a try by the left wing Riaan Potgieter from a breakout by the rugged flanker Francois Rossouw.

But hardly had play resumed after Fourie's conversion that Scotland made an instant reply. The Bath prop Dave Hilton made the running from the restart kick and with a perfectly timed pass gave his captain and clubmate Andy Nicol a try in the corner.

Duncan Hodge's touchline conversion levelled the scores and just before the interval the Watsonian stand-off put the tourists in the lead with his first successful penalty goal of the match from two attempts.

After the break Hodge nudged the tourists further ahead with third penalty but the stand-off failed to add the extra points to a try by flanker Cameron Mather for an 18-7 lead.

But tries for Mpumalanga by centre Carlo Jonkers and No 8 Ryno Combrink, both converted by Fourie, and a penalty by the full-back gave the South African province a 24-18 lead.

A further Hodge penalty set the scene for a desperate late effort by the Scots but the tourists were unable to close the gap.

Mpumalanga: Tries Jonker, Potgieter, Combrink; Conversions Fourie 3; Penalties Fourie. Scotland: Tries Nicol, Mather; Conversions Hodge; Penalties Hodge 3.

MPUMALANGA: Fourie; Bann, Jonker, Noble, Potgeiter; Benadie, Van Zyl: Swart, Kemp, Botha, Willemse, van der Berg, Rossouw, Combrink, Joubert.

SCOTLAND: Gilmour; Joiner, Hastings, Eriksson, Dods (Longstaff, 68); Hodge, Nicol; Hilton (Graham, 68), Brotherstone, Stewart, Campbell (Murray, 14) Grimes, Mather, Peters, Holmes.

Referee: T Henning (N Transvaal).