Boks to bruise Scots

Scotland, battered in Durban, will be further bruised in Port Elizabeth.

The Scots will offer a bit more fight in PE, but they don’t have the class to match the Boks, let alone the conviction to follow through the pre-test banter that Saturday provides an opportunity for a new team to do something special.

Admittedly, the Scots are at the end of a long season. They’ve had their success, two home wins against England and France, and the manner of the struggle away to Italy (when they needed a 77th minute three pointer to win 13-10) should have been a giveaway of what to expect in Durban.

Traditionally, Scotland’s forwards have managed to trouble the Boks, but it is doubtful they expected such a bruising from the Bok pack in Durban. I don’t even know if Jake White thought his pack capable of delivering such telling blows.

Either way, the Bok pack should repeat the battering in PE. What White will look for this time is more impact from his replacement players and greater intensity throughout the 80 minutes.

The back three will prosper as a unit now that Bryan Habana has returned, while the halfback pairing should revel with the anticipated forward dominance. Wynand Olivier gets a chance to show himself capable of a greater role in the Bok set-up, while Andre Snyman gets one last chance to convince the selectors they were right in recalling him from England.

The bones called a comfortable Bok win in the first test and nothing has changed. The Boks will win by 20 again.

In other internationals Australia will play better against England, but won’t win as emphatically (if that makes any sense). The scoreline will be closer, but the Aussies will still win well, while New Zealand will improve against the Irish and do enough to take the series two-nil.

It won’t be vintage New Zealand, given that another 15 players are already in Buenos Aires preparing to play the Pumas, but they still have enough quality players to see off an Irish team that certainly played well in Hamilton.

The All Blacks by 10 points, but a convincing 10.

In other internationals, the Pumas will beat Wales and the French will walk their way to a victory against Romania.