Scotland given harsh lesson yet Johnson remains upbeat

 
Julian Harris
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SCOTLAND head coach Scott Johnson says his side can take positives from yesterday’s visit of South Africa, despite suffering a 28-0 defeat.

The world’s second highest ranked team stormed to a 21-point lead during a first half at Murrayfield that included three tries, before extending the lead after the break.

“As a coach you have to look at how people bounce back. Out of that situation [from the first half], we started to get ourselves out of a jam eventually and we found out a bit about a few people today,” Johnson said.

“Yeah they scored readily in the first half but they didn’t score after that. So it highlights the fact that most of the issues are ours and ours alone. They are the ones we have to fix.”

It took only five minutes for South Africa to take a convincing lead, a spell of fierce pressure ending in a line-out from which Willem Albert went over, before Pat Lambie converted.

Willie Le Roux was then allowed in close to the half-hour mark as Scotland’s Ruaridh Jackson slipped.

And just minutes later the lead was extended to 21 points after Le Roux turned provider and played in JP Pietersen with a clever kick.

Scotland looked a more determined and promising team after the break, but their renewed efforts were broken when Coenie Oosthuizen drove across the line – again following a line-out.

“You always know what to expect from Scotland – they’re very physical and they kept on going,” South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer said.

“The rain in the second half was a wee bit more difficult, but we need to play in these conditions.”