Scotland has never beaten the Springboks in South Africa. Coach Frank Hadden and captain Jason White believe the time might be right for an inaugural win.
After viewing the Boks insipid display in beating the World XV at the weekend, Hadden and captain Jason White, must surely feel they have got a chance, but were not getting carried away upon arrival at Johannesburg International Airport on Monday morning.
“It has been a long season and we have had a good Six Nations campaign. The good thing for us is this tour is two Tests and hopefully we can carry on our improvement here,” said White.
Said Hadden: “We need to obviously respect to South Africa, being ranked No 2 in the world, and that shows how much they have improved since we played them in 2003 (in South Africa). We are coming here to challenge and it would be a massive achievement if we could win.”
The last time the Boks and Scots met was on the end of year tour in 2004, when following a disappointing Grand Slam tour they ended on a high, thumping the Scots 45-10 in Edinburgh.
However, the Scottish have come on tour on the back of a good Six Nations, while the Boks looked rusty at Ellis Park. “This is a great opportunity for a crack at them. We have not turned up just for the sake of it and this is also an important part of our World Cup preparation,” said the coach.
“To get a victory we will need to do a lot of good things and be on top of our game throughout the 80 minutes,” added Hadden.
Overall, the two old adversaries have squared up 16 times, with the Boks victorious 12 times and Scotland four. The Boks biggest win was the 68-10 thumping handed out by Nick Mallettâ€™s team in Edinburgh in 1997, while the Scots best win came in 2002 when Rudolf Straeuliâ€™s charges were humbled 21-6.
The Scots are nursing a few injuries, but a full assessement would only be made once the team arrive in Durban.
By Andrew Hollely