Revenge would’ve been at the top of the Blitzboks’ agenda after they lost the London Sevens Cup final in the dying seconds to the Scots last season.
In addition, Neil Powell’s team were defeated 7-5 by Great Britain at the Rio Olympics semi-final as well, with Scotland part of that team.
And Powell and his players would’ve experienced a sense of déjà vu in the first half as the Blitzboks battled to finish off a number of promising moves.
The biggest miss came when Cecil Afrika was flying down the left touch-line, but was bundled out of play near the corner flag when a try was imminent.
The mistakes started piling up, and in the end, Scotland took full advantage as they cleverly drew in the Blitzbok defence, which was too narrow on the inside, before the ball was the way of James Fleming, who had enough speed to out-run Seabelo Senatla to score in the corner.
At 5-0 down at halftime, the Blitzboks were staring down the barrel of defeat after comfortably beating Uganda 46-0 in their opening game.
But a yellow card to Scotland’s Fraser Lyle – for seemingly back-chatting New Zealand referee Richard Kelly – saw the South Africans strike immediately as Senatla showed his trademark pace to fly over the line.
A good angled conversion by Cecil Afrika put his team into the lead, and they stepped up their intensity in defence too, closing down the Scots’ space, while Chris Dry, Werner Kok and captain Philip Snyman put in a few thunderous hits.
Then there was some time for a bit of magic by Justin Geduld, who chipped over the top for Rosko Specman, who hacked ahead and fell on the ball just in front of the dead-ball line for South Africa’s second try.
Specman proved he is much more than just an attacking force as he produced a huge tackle late in the game, before Senatla was put into space by Kyle Brown to secure victory and passage through to the Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
The Blitzboks complete their Pool B programme against USA at 5.06pm SA time on Friday.
South Africa – Tries: Seabelo Senatla (2), Rosko Specman. Conversions: Cecil Afrika (1), Justin Geduld (2).
Scotland – Try: James Fleming
Original source: Blitzbokke gain revenge over Scots to reach quarters