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History favours Springboks

2015-09-29 12:26
Vern Cotter

Cape Town - After their horrendous start to Rugby World Cup 2015, Bok supporters may have difficulty separating the possible from the impossible. 

But a look at Heyeneke Meyer's record as coach suggests that there is little to fear going into Saturday's crucial Pool B clash against Scotland in Newcastle. 

The Boks have met the Scots four times since Meyer took the reins in 2012 - twice at home and twice at Murrayfield - and they won all of those encounters by a margin of 11 points or more. 

But, as the sporting cliche goes, those results will count for little when the sides meet on Saturday. 

The Boks are a side with their backs to the wall - nightmarish flashbacks to the Japan debacle still fresh. Scotland, meanwhile, are a side rejuvenated under the mentorship of former Clermont coach Vern Cotter. 

The New Zealander has the Scots running the ball - a rare sight for a side so often associated with a kicking game. 

There is a real sense of optimism about this Scotland team, and they have overcome their first two hurdles against giant killers Japan and then a spirited USA. 

It's been enough to catch the Boks' attention. 

"I think they’ve been playing some fantastic rugby," Springbok assistant coach Johan van Graan said of this Scottish side.

"Vern Cotter has been unbelievable at Clermont. I think they’ve got a forward pack that knows exactly what he wants and they’ve been playing some exciting rugby. It will be a big Test match on Saturday."

Despite the Boks having a flawless record against the Scots, Van Graan remembers those matches being difficult. 

"We’ve been tested over the last four years against them in various places in the world," he said.

"We’re in exactly the same position we were last week so for us it’s a must-win game and we’ll treat them with the necessary respect.

"They’ve got some world class players and they bring some different challenges in the way that they defend and attack … definitely a different challenge than Samoa but a massive challenge."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:45.

Springboks record against Scotland since 2012

November 2012, Murrayfield: 21-10 (w)

June 2013, Nelspruit: 30-17 (w)

November 2013, Murrayfield: 28-0 (w)

June 2014, Port Elizabeth: 55-6 (w)

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