EDINBURGH: South Africa scored 13 points in the first 15 minutes of the second half and then leaned on its dominant scrum and forward pack to subdue a spirited Scotland and win their rugby test 30-15 on Saturday.
Wing Makazole Mapimpi collected both the Springboks’ tries, with his second coming in that decisive spell after halftime, to help the world champion to a second win in two games on its end-of-year tour to Britain.
Scotland captain Stuart Hogg also crossed for two tries at Murrayfield to first put the Scots ahead 10-8 at halftime, and then close the gap to 21-15 midway through the second half.
But Scotland, in search of a first win over South Africa since 2010, couldn’t hold its own against the Springboks’ pack in the last 20 minutes.
South Africa added three late penalties as the forward turned the screw. After beating Wales and now Scotland, the Springboks face England next weekend at Twickenham for a chance at three wins from three.
Meanwhile, Argentina beat Italy 37-16 to end its winless run in emphatic style on Saturday as the Azzurri’s losing streak continued.
Marcos Kremer, Juan Martin Gonzalez, Matías Moroni, Santiago Cordero and Facundo Bosch scored tries to help Argentina end a run of seven consecutive defeats, including a winless Rugby Championship.
Paolo Garbisi kept Italy in the game with some solid kicking and Stephen Varney claimed his first international try but the Azzurri’s miserable streak stretched to 16 with an error-strewn performance.
Both teams were desperate for an overdue taste of victory. Argentina had come close last weekend as it gave France a scare in Paris before succumbing 29-20.
The Pumas opened the scoring in the ninth minute, seconds after Emiliano Boffelli had sent a penalty wide of the posts. Boffelli atoned for his miss by serving Kremer, who raced forward and dived over the line near the posts.
Boffelli had the easiest of conversions.
Italy was struggling and showed little of the composure it showed against New Zealand last weekend, when the Azzurri managed to keep the scoreline down to 21-9 before the All Blacks ran away in the last quarter to win 47-9.
The hosts gave away another penalty, for offside, and this time Boffelli didn’t miss from a central position.
Argentina was better in every area of the pitch and Italy struggled to piece together any offensive action as they were beaten at every tackle.
Italy gifted Argentina its second try in the 28th minute as Gonzalez kicked past the Azzurri defense and ran onto the ball to dive over. Boffelli again converted and the Pumas led 17-0.
Italy finally got points on the board eight minutes from halftime thanks to a Garbisi penalty.
Garbisi managed to score another penalty — which went in off the post — with the last kick of the half to help Italy cut the gap to 11 points.
But Italy’s good work was undone right at the start of the second half as some woeful defending saw the ball arrive at an unmarked Moroni who went over in the corner. Boffelli added the extras.
Italy finally managed to close in on the Argentina line and got its first try of the Autumn internationals when Varney got the ball off the back of a scrum practically on the line and feinted to pass before forcing it over.