South Africa 34-16 Scotland: Springboks back to their best after beating battling Scots
JP Pietersen crosses for South Africa's second try (image via: twitter)

After a tough build-up to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, followed by a shocking defeat in their opener against Japan, South Africa have turned the tables and now look like a potential tournament winners.

A big win over Samoa last weekend, was followed up by a commanding win against Scotland at St. James' Park, with Heyneke Meyer's men running in three tries to their opponents one.  

The Springbok forwards were incredible throughout, with first-time captain Fourie du Preez orchestrating them around the field with authority from nine. 

Springboks quick out of the traps

With a big match feel to proceedings in Newcastle, it was South Africa who piled on the early pressure, racing into a 10-0 lead inside 20 minutes. 

Schalk Burger was awarded five points by the TMO, after just doing enough to get the ball down near the posts for the games first try, with Handre Pollard adding the conversion, plus another penalty from the tee for the early lead. 

Pollard added a second penalty to extend the lead to 13, before Scotland finally got on the board thanks to a penalty of their own through captain Greig Laidlaw

Scotland were then given more hope, when Jannie du Plessis was yellow carded after dangerous play at a ruck in the opposition's territory. 

It was the 14-men of South Africa who added to their control of the game though, with JP Pietersen touching down for his fourth try of the tournament after a powerful driving maul from the Bok forwards. 

Pollard's boot keeps rampant Scots at bay

After the break, Scotland threw everything at their Southern Hemisphere opponents, who replelled most of the attacks from a staggeringly strong defensive effort. 

Laidlaw added an early penalty to reduce the arrears to 14, and then the game was really thrown open, when Duncan Weir intercepted a Pollard pass in the Scottish 22, with the ball eventually falling to Tommy Seymour who crossed for a much-needed try. 

Just when it looked like Scotland could carve their way back into the game, they started to lose their discipline at the breakdown, and were punished by Pollard's right boot. 

A drop-goal for the fly-half was followed by a pair of penalties to ease the pressure on the Springboks, and from there they never looked like losing against a Scottish side who ran out of puff. 

With five minutes left on the clock, Bryan Habana scored South Africa's try after burrowing over in the corner to extend the points margin between the two sides. 

On an almost perfect day for the Springboks, flanker Willem Alberts was given ten minutes from the bench late on to give the injury-ravaged flanker a chance to prove his fitness ahead of the bigger games to come.