Cape Town – Is history going to awkwardly
repeat itself when the Springboks tackle Scotland in the final Test of the June
internationals in Port Elizabeth on Saturday?
It is a question well worth asking because
South Africa – minus Francois Louw, as they will be again – were outwitted at
the breakdown when the unsung Scots last visited our soil in 2013 and were much
better value in their 30-17 defeat at Mbombela Stadium than the scoreboard
The visitors had led by 11 points at one
stage and the Boks only really put the game to bed with the last move of the match,
substitute Jan Serfontein’s converted try giving the eventual margin of triumph
a gloss it didn’t deserve.
It was broadly acknowledged by senior Bok
personnel afterwards that they had been run so close largely because of the
Scots’ superior tenacity and cunning in the battle on the deck.
Bath-based Louw, the Boks’ regular No 6
flank, had been released from that particular fixture to get married, and it
was certainly one reason the overwhelming favourites laboured in that
A year later, and Louw will ominously be an
absentee against these opponents again, this time because the game falls
outside the agreed window – in New Zealand and Australia, Super Rugby matches
resume next weekend — and the Boks have had to release seven squad members who
are attached to either French or English clubs.
It will inevitably bring back under the
critical microscope coach