The Boks never got out of first gear in beating Scotland in Nelspruit.
And they didn’t have to.
The Scots were courageous, willing and tireless. But they always lacked the quality in attack and the polish as a team to make the Boks pay for an absent performance.
The Boks won 30-17 after trailing 17-6 and they played more at idle pace than in first gear.
The Boks were in a no-win situation. They were expected to win easily and if they did struggle, as happened, they were going to get caned in criticism, both from their supporters and the media.
This was one of those matches the Boks simply had to get out of the way in their preparation for the Rugby Championship and it at least adds some spice to next weekend’s Samoan Test.
Samoa hammered Italy 39-10 to qualify for next weekend’s ‘final’ of this quadrangular.
The Scots were effective at disrupting the Boks at the breakdown and slowed the ball down.
The Boks looked disinterested and it showed as Scotland scored twice to lead 17-6, but the Boks, when they needed to, upped the tempo and dominated the final 15 minutes to win comfortably.
The side showed good character and the leadership of Jean de Villiers was impressive.
Bismarck du Plessis got through the last 15 minutes and Siya Kolisi got 75 minutes after injury to flanker Arno Botha.
The Bok backs were ineffective because the Bok forwards never got going.
Scotland were committed but lacked the class to match their determination.
The Boks lacked intensity but it was always going to be the danger in a match like this.
Next: Samoa. It will be physical and it should be fun.