Rugby Union: Skinstad stakes claim for Test

Edinburgh Reivers 3 South Africa 49
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The Independent Online
SOUTH AFRICA'S second string outclassed the Edinburgh Reivers super district in a seven-try exhibition at Easter Road last night. Several of the Springbok reserves gave the coach Nick Mallett further food for thought before Saturday's Test against Scotland at Murrayfield, notably captain Bobby Skinstad in an all-action first-half performance.

Braam van Straaten converted all seven tries from seven different scorers, while all the Reivers had to show for their efforts was a penalty in first- half stoppage time from Scott Welsh.

South Africa opened the scoring after only three minutes. A well-worked rolling maul inside the Reivers 22 allowed the giant prop Toks van der Linde to bundle his way over, Van Straaten adding the extra points.

An avalanche was averted early on as Welsh's assured kicking from hand kept the Scots moving forward, but the tourists increased the tempo early in the second quarter. Skinstad - a ubiquitous presence before he retired at half-time - took a captain's lead to break a pair of tackles in midfield before sending Andre Vos racing clear to the line.

The Western Province player then claimed the third himself, the centre Robbie Fleck breaching the Reivers defence before releasing the No 8 for the score. Van Straaten converted both tries to make it 21-0 after 24 minutes.

On the resumption Chad Alcock's quick tap penalty allowed Ollie Le Roux - on as a replacement only minutes earlier - to crash over after Vos was held up short of the line on 51 minutes. Then fellow prop Willie Meyer shook off the combined efforts of Iain Fullarton and Graeme Burns moments later.

A flurry of substitutions from both sides then disrupted the tourists' momentum before the flanker Corne Krige claimed the sixth after 68 minutes, Van Straaten continuing his perfect record with the conversion.

Lourens Venter marked his entrance with the seventh on the final whistle.

Edinburgh Reivers: Penalties Welsh. South Africa: Tries Krige, Le Roux, Meyer, Skinstad, L Venter, Vos, Van der Linde. Conversions Van Straaten 7.

Edinburgh Reivers: Lang; Gilmour, Hastings, Fairley, Kerr; Welsh, Burns; McNulty, Scott, Stewart, Burns, Fullarton, Roxburgh, Sinclair, Renwick. Replacements: Common, Nichol, Ross, Hogg, McVie, Wright, Hay.

South Africa: Paulse; Markram, Fleck, Van Straaten, Kayser; Stewart, Alcock; Van der Linde, Nkumane, Meyer, Boome, Smit, Krige, Vos, Skinstad. Replacements: Du Toit, Venter, Swanepoel, Trystman, Le Roux, Drotske.

Referee: M Whyte (Ireland).