Springboks win 18-3 against Scotland in RWC opener

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South Africa has got their Rugby World Cup title defence in France off to a winning start.

The Springboks defeated fifth ranked Scotland in their opening match of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Marseilles.

Outclassing their opponents with two tries, the defending champions recorded a 18-3 victory.

In a tense first half, two Manie Libbok penalties had South Africa ahead but a morale-boosting scrum penalty shortly before halftime, slotted by Finn Russell, gave the Scots a real lift as they headed into the changing rooms 6-3 down and still dreaming of an upset.

The Springboks, however, came out with a new intensity and two tries within three minutes effectively settled the outcome.

A typically powerful set of ball carries eventually created the space for Pieter Steph du Toit to charge over and then a brilliantly disguised Libbok kick found Kurt-Lee Arendse inexplicably in acres of space to catch and fall over the line and the shell-shocked Scots never looked able to mount any sort of comeback.

South Africa will now be highly fancied to progress to the quarter-finals while Scotland, ranked fifth in the world, are likely to need to beat world number one Ireland to avoid a pool-stage exit. – additional reporting by Reuters