Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 19 News List

'Boks prove too good for Scotland

AFP , EDINBURGH

South Africa's Francois Steyn, right, challenge's Scotland's Rory Lamont during their match in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Saturday.

PHOTO: AP

Springboks forward Juan Smith believes his side's 27-3 triumph over Scotland has given them momentum at a crucial stage in the build up to the World Cup.

The Boks had to depend on a burst of three tries in six minutes midway through the first half for their success.

But Smith, voted man of the match at Murrayfield, reckons the overall display will give South Africa genuine hope of mounting a challenge in France.

"Facing Scotland was a step up from our previous warm-up games. We knew they would make it tough for us -- and they gave us a stern work-out," Smith said.

"It certainly provided us with valuable practice ahead of the World Cup game against England and I think we have put down a marker in that respect," he said.

Smith's sentiments were echoed by South Africa coach Jake White, who declared himself "highly satisfied" with the Edinburgh visit.

He stated that the intensity of the work-out had been much more important than the result.

White declared: "Scotland are a fast-improving team under the stewardship of Frank Hadden and they made us work extremely hard for the victory."

"It was exactly the kind of match we had wanted at this stage of our preparations and we can go forward to the tournament with certain aspects clearer in our minds," he said.

Hadden insisted there were more positives than negatives in the wake of his side's defeat.

"We got a massive amount out of that experience and it can only benefit us in the World Cup." he said.

"Don't forget, this was only our second match as a unit since last spring, whereas the Springboks have had 10 games in that period so there was bound to be a big difference between us in terms of sharpness," Hadden said.

"South Africa defended fantastically well. Defense will be so important in the World Cup, so you could see why they are second favorites to win the competition," he said.

"From our point of view, we need to sharpen things up in the lineouts and improve our accuracy in kicking," Hadden said.

Hadden revealed that breakaway forward David Callam's World Cup involvement is in doubt after he suffered a blow to the face.

He added that Callam's fate will be decided when results of scans are known over the next 48 hours.

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