The Scots, lacking the sharpness that brought them success in the Five Nations' Championship, were outscored three tries to two and heavily outgunned behind the scrum. In fact, the tourists' midfield - until the introduction of replacement Cammie Murray - looked pedestrian. Worse still for the tourists, Doddie Weir suffered a knee injury on the same ground where he was brutally fouled two years ago on the Lions tour.
Mpumalanga were ahead after just two minutes when their stand-off Jacques Benadie kicked a drop goal after a line-out. Benadie struck again with a penalty and, with little going right for Scotland, Mpumalanga delivered another punishing blow, full-back Kaillie Bebadie crossing for a try converted by Benadie.
The Scotland defence was prised open again for hooker Marnus Uijs to run in his side's second try and, although Scotland finally got into the game when No 8 Stuart Reid forced his way across the line, Mpumalanga added a third try through centre Conrad Stolz which Benadie converted.
The Scots finally hit back with a penalty by Hodge and a try from Martin Leslie before stand-off Benadie kicked a long-range penalty goal.
Mpumalanga: Tries Bebadie, Stolz, Uijs; Conversions Benadie 2; Penalties Benadie 2; Drop goal Benadie. Scotland: Tries M Leslie, S Reid; Conversion Hodge; Penalty Hodge.
MPUMALANGA: Bebadie (Fourie, 72); Van der Mescht, C Stolz, Noble (Potgieter, 46), Dames; Benadie, Bartle; Swart (Barnard, 64), Uijs (Kemp, 64), Human, Willemse, De Lange (T Stolz, 64), Rossouw, Joubert, Muller (Pretorius, 45).
SCOTLAND: C Paterson (Edinburgh Reivers); C Moir (Northampton), J McLaren (Bourgoin), R Shepherd (Glasgow Caledonians), C Joiner (Leicester); D Hodge (Edinburgh Reivers), G Armstrong (Newcastle, capt); T Smith (Glasgow Caledonians), G Bulloch (Glasgow Caledonians), M Proudfoot (Edinburgh Reivers), D Weir (Newcastle), S Grimes (Newcastle), B Pountney (Northampton), S Reid (Leeds), M Leslie (Edinburgh Reivers). Replacements: C Murray (Edinburgh Reivers) for McLaren (42), C Chalmers (Glasgow Caledonians) for Hodge (75), C Mather (Edinburgh Reivers) for Reid (68), A Lucking (Edinburgh Reivers) for Weir (65), G Graham (Newcastle) for Proudfoot (70).
Referee: A Turner (Sarfu).Reuse content