South Africa 18-3 Scotland: Springboks too strong for Scots in Rugby World Cup opener

Kurt-Lee Arendse's try after the break took the game away from Scotland
Kurt-Lee Arendse's try after the break took the game away from Scotland

Rugby World Cup: South Africa v Scotland

South Africa: (6) 18

Tries: Du Toit, Arendse; Pens: Libbok 2; Con: De Klerk

Scotland: (3) 3

Pen: Russell

Scotland slipped to defeat in their World Cup opener as defending champions South Africa put in a typically ruthless and powerful display in Marseille.

After a fraught and physical first half in which Scotland's forward pack put in an abrasive performance, two quick Springbok tries took the game away from Gregor Townsend's side.

Pieter Steph Du Toit crashed over for the first before a wonderful no-look cross-field kick from Manie Libbok put in Kurt-Lee Arendse for another score four minutes later.

From there, the world champions turned the screw at the set-piece and wore down an increasingly ragged Scotland.

The Scots will point to a potential red card for Jesse Kriel for a dangerous tackle in the opening three minutes which was missed by officials, but they were also undone by errors in key moments, particularly at the lineout.

Townsend's side now face an uphill task to get out of the fiendishly-difficult Pool B, which also includes the world's number one-ranked side Ireland, while South Africa got their title defence off to a perfect start and face Romania next Sunday.

Scotland have a two-week wait to right their wrongs when they take on Tonga in Nice.

More to follow.


South Africa: Willemse, Arense, Kriel, De Allende, Kolbe, Libbok, De Klerk; Kitshoff, Marx, Malherbe, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi, Du Toit, Wiese.

Replacements: Mbonambi, Nche, Nyakane, Snyman, Van Staden, Vermeulen, Williams, Le Roux.

Scotland: Kinghorn, Graham, Jones, Tuipulotu, Van der Merwe, Russell, White; Schoeman, Turner, Z Fagerson, R Gray, Gilchrist, Ritchie, Darge, Dempsey.

Replacements: Cherry, Bhatti, Nel, Cummings, M Fagerson, Price, Redpath, Smith.

Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)