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Scotland’s World Cup hopes suffered a blow as they lost 18-3 to South Africa, the defending champions, in a tough encounter in Marseille. The Springboks kicked off their title defense with two vital tries from Pieter-Steph du Toit and Kurt-Lee Arendse in the second half, after a tight first half. Scotland couldn’t cope with South Africa’s intensity and missed the chance to stage a comeback.
This result means that Gregor Townsend’s team will have to win their remaining games against Tonga, Romania, and Ireland, to have a chance of reaching the quarter-finals. Both sides came into the tournament with confidence after winning their summer tests, but the challenge of facing Ireland, the top-ranked team in Pool B, increased the need to start well.
South Africa looked more assured from the beginning, and Manie Libbok converted penalties to give them an early lead. Scotland fought hard against their physical rivals and reduced the deficit with a Finn Russell penalty just before the break. But South Africa secured the win with Du Toit and Arendse’s tries, denying Scotland any opportunity to turn the game around.
Pool B | South Africa 18:3 Scotland
South Africa Scores:
TRIES Pieter-Steph Du Toit (47′), Kurt-Lee Arendse (50′)
CONV Faf de Klerk (52′)
PENS Manie Libbok (13′, 25′)
PENS Finn Russell (41′)
Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Man of the match:
Manie Libbok (South Africa)
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