BLOW BY BLOW | All the action as Boks start by beating Bravehearts

10 September 2023 - 12:56 By Marc Strydom
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Damian de Allende of South Africa during the Rugby World Cup 2023 match against Scotland at Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Sunday.
Damian de Allende of South Africa during the Rugby World Cup 2023 match against Scotland at Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Sunday.
Image: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

**** 7.40pm - 80min - FULL TIME - SA 18 Scotland 3 - Final result ****

The Boks' title defence in France is off to a tough but ultimately professional, ground-out win with flashes of brilliance against the brave Bravehearts. Adieu, for today

7.37pm - 78min

Sub Grant Williams crazy run - stopped

(Arendse's try below)

7.33pm - 74min

Kolbe big run down the right. Stopped. Boks swing it to the left. Scots hold firm again. Desperate defence

(Du Toit's try below)

7.32pm - 73min

It's a bit of ringing the changes, a bit of keeping the momentum, a bit of trying to keep Scotland pinned back. But the Boks could do with another big score to put it beyond doubt. Give it to the Scots - they have been Scotland the Brave - tough to crack

7.28pm - 70min

Willie le Roux comes on for his 88th cap, in place of Libbok, with Willemse moving to flyhalf

7.24pm - 68min

Another replacement for the Boks as Van Staden replaces Kolisi in the 65th minute, moments after a great steal by the captain

7.23pm - 67min

Boks keep on front foot - all power and precision - grinding out a result, seemingly

7.19pm - 60min

Vermeulen comes on for Wiese while Mbonambi is back on again - Boks still lead 18-3 with 20 minutes to go in Marseille

7.13pm - 57min 

De Klerk narrowly missed a penalty from tight angle in the right. But Boks have all the momentum now

7.05pm - 52min Score - SA 18 Scot 3

Faf de Klerk takes over place kicking - through the poles from a tight angle

(apols for slight break in transmission - brief loss of Wifi)

7.04pm - 51min - Score - SA 16 Scot 3

Kurt-Lee Arendse on the end of a crossfield kick in space for superb try in right corner!!

7.02pm - 46min 

Libbok misses the conversion from difficult angle

7pm - 45min - Score - SA 11 Scot 3

Pieter-Steph du Toit over at left corner for SA 's first try of 2023 RWC!! Eight points the lead. SA fans in Marseille, in SA, breathe a little easier. Still a way to go

6.59pm - 44min

Big scrum for Boks 5m out - they are pushing for the try, now going left

6.59pm - 44min

Boks straight on the front foot again, swing the length of the field. Scotland defence again holds firm

6.55pm - 41min

Scot FB Blair Kinghorn kicks the second half off

6.53pm - (HT)

The scribe, meanwhile, takes a well-deserved sip of his cold drink. It's tough keeping up on these Rugby World Cup streets for a football writer.

The teams are returning to the field.

6.46 pm - (HT)

Some patrons at Xai-Xai Lounge in Melville, JHB, wondering if the "Craven A Menthol" away jersey will be a jinx in this World Cup after a tough opening half in Marseille. Others feel it's providing hijack advertising to FNB.

***** 6.39pm - 40min - HALF TIME - SA 6 Scot 0 *****

That's the break, too. Phew, just three points in it

6.38pm - 39min - Score - SA 6 - Scot 3

Scrum infringement - penalty to Scotland. Russell, from 2m inside SA's half, puts it through the centre.

6.37pm - 39min

One @Thabileng21" Thabang character" requests a shoutout on Twitter (not calling it X!) .,. Hi Thabang character

6.33pm - 37min

Solid scrum shows Scots can hold Boks - for now. De Klerk hassles, poor clearance taken by Willemse who kicks ahead, tries to take again but knocks forward

6.29pm - 32min

Frenetic period, and Scotland swinging wide for the first time, wing stopped by a big challenge. Penalty allows Boks back on the front foot.

Boks get within a metre of the line, Russell clears

6.22pm  - 27min

Scotland pressurise from the kickoff. Huge intercept, but knocked on by Cheslin Kolbe

6.18pm - 25min - Score  - SA 6 Scot 0

Libbok through the middle again, from tighter angle this time. SA 6 Scot 0

6.18pm - 25min

Boks force penalty - Libbok to kick from outside 22, near left touchline

6.13pm - 22min

Boks keep ball in Scots' half from restart. Big chargedown by Etzebeth. Some argy bargy on the left touchline follows. Handbags. Refs consult TMO 

De Allende and Scots' Ritchie get verbal warning 

6.11pm - 20min

Blood replacement Bongani Mbonambi on for Malcolm Marx

6.08pm - 20min

De Allende knocks on from forward pass. And it's a water break

6.06pm - 18min

Helter skelter restart leads to Scotland penalty - centre field - inside Scot half. Finn Russell makes ground with kick.

Boks win lineout and run it out of their half. High-paced first 18min. Boks have penalty, Libbok kicks close to tryline

6.01pm - 13min - Score - SA 3 Scot 0 

Libbok puts it through the middle. Points on the board!! SA 3 Scot 0

6pm - 12min

Penalty, Libbok to take, less than 40m, centre of field

5.59pm - 10min

First scrum SA

(Below - scenes from Xai-Xai lounge, Melville as anthems are sung)

5.53pm - 5min

Scoreless in the opening 5min - scrum Scotland, leading to penalty Scotland, conceded by Kitshoff - some early pressure relieved for Scots as Russell makes ground with the kick

5.48pm - 1min

We are off. Manie Libbok kicks off. Boks force two lineouts deep in Scots' half


The anthems are sung, the stadium looks packed. Allez!!!!!


Just under 10min to the start of the beginning of the world champions Boks' defence of the title.

The Stade Velodrome seems relatively full at this stage. No indication if there were problems with entry, as with the chaos at Saturday night's England v Argentina.


Nick Mallett on SuperSport on Scotland's danger flyhalf, Finn Russell.


In his story, Nienaber anticipating Scottish onslaught in their World Cup opener, Kolisi keeps calm, Liam Del Carme quotes Jacques Nienaber saying": “We expect nothing other than a big game and it'll take a big grind from both sides to break each other down. I expect that game to be a tough one.”

Liam writes, captain Siya Kolisi is also expecting a tough clash but he exuded his usual calm as the big day draws closer. His prematch ritual will ensure more calm after a week of frenetic preparation.

“I listen to a lot of different music but for games, it's often worship music because I like to calm down, it gives me peace and it settles me down because coach Jacques and Rassie pump us up during the week.

“We keep rising and rising, so I need something to pull me down and keep me level-headed before a game. “Also, it gives me a lot of strength.”


... just over an hour to kickoff ...  

Here are some more fan arrivals (below), scenes from Marseille (and SA), where the atmosphere really looks like it's heating up as the Boks start to take the field for their warm-ups.


Scenes around and in Stade Velodrome as some supporters filter through Marseille to the game, no doubt stopping along the way in the odd drinking hole for a quick Pastis or Kronenbourg 1664 or two.

Plus some South Africans' travel posts. 

Pastis (French pronunciation: ​[pastis]; Occitan: pastís, pronounced [pasˈtis]; UK: /ˈpæstɪs/ or US: /pæsˈtiːs/) is an anise-flavoured spirit and apéritif traditionally from France, typically containing less than 100 g/L sugar and 40–45% ABV (alcohol by volume). - Wikipedia


... and now we wait ...


Other match details:

Ref: Angus Gardner (Australia)

Assistant refs: Nika Amashukeli (Georgia), Jordan Way (Australia)

TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

Venue: Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

Stadium capacity: 67,394


The Bok team, which was named by coach Jacques Nienaber on Wednesday night, just after 7pm, is:

Springbok team to face Scotland:

15 — Damian Willemse (Stormers) — 33 caps, 41 points (3t, 4c, 4pg, 2dg)

14 — Kurt-Lee Arendse (Bulls) — 10 caps, 55 points (11t)

13 — Jesse Kriel (Eagles) — 62 caps, 70 points (14t)

12 — Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) — 73 caps, 50 points (10t)

11 — Cheslin Kolbe (Suntory Sungoliath) — 26 caps, 81 points (12t, 3c, 5pg)

10 — Manie Libbok (Stormers) — 9 caps, 65 points (1t, 21c, 6pg)

9 — Faf de Klerk (Eagles) — 49 caps, 44 points (5t, 2c, 5pg)

8 — Jasper Wiese (Tigers) — 23 caps, 5 points (1t)

7 — Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) — 71 caps, 35 points (7t)

6 — Siya Kolisi (captain, Racing 92) — 77 caps, 50 points (10t)

5 — Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) — 67 caps, 15 points (3t)

4 — Eben Etzebeth (Sharks) — 113 caps, 25 points (5t)

3 — Frans Malherbe (Stormers) — 63 caps, 5 points (1t)

2 — Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) — 63 caps, 85 points (17t)

1 — Steven Kitshoff (Ulster) — 76 caps, 10 points (2t)


16 — Bongi Mbonambi (Sharks) — 62 caps, 65 points (13t)

17 — Ox Nche (Sharks) — 21 caps, 0 points

18 — Trevor Nyakane (Racing 92) — 62 caps, 5 points (1t)

19 — RG Snyman (Munster) — 28 caps, 5 points (1t)

20 — Marco van Staden (Bulls) — 14 caps, 0 points

21 — Duane Vermeulen (SA Rugby) — 70 caps, 15 points (3t)

22 — Grant Williams (Sharks) — 5 caps, 0 points

23 — Willie le Roux (Bulls) — 87 caps, 65 points (13t)

Scotland's XV, named by coach Gregor Townsend, is:

Scotland team:

15 - Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Rugby) - 46 caps

14 - Darcy Graham (Edinburgh Rugby) - 35 caps

13- Huw Jones (Glasgow Warriors) - 39 caps

12 - Sione Tuipulotu (Glasgow Warriors) - 19 caps

11 - Duhan van der Merwe (Edinburgh Rugby) - 31 caps

10 - Finn Russell (Bath Rugby) – 72 caps

9 - Ben White (Toulon) - 16 caps

8 - Jack Dempsey (Glasgow Warriors) - 12 caps

7 - Rory Darge (Glasgow Warriors) - 11 caps

6 - Jamie Ritchie (captain, Edinburgh Rugby) – 43 caps

5 - Grant Gilchrist (Edinburgh Rugby)– 65 caps

4 - Richie Gray (Glasgow Warriors) - 75 caps

3 - Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) - 59 caps

2 - George Turner (Glasgow Warriors) - 37 caps

1 - Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Rugby) - 23 caps


16 - Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Rugby) - 10 caps

17 - Jamie Bhatti (Glasgow Warriors) - 32 caps

18 - WP Nel (Edinburgh Rugby) - 57 caps

19 - Scott Cummings (Glasgow Warriors) - 29 caps

20 - Matt Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors) - 36 caps

21 - Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors) - 63 caps

22 - Cameron Redpath (Bath Rugby) - 7 caps

23 - Ollie Smith (Glasgow Warriors) - 6 caps


To get started with, perhaps: here's (below) some of Liam Del Carme's and TimesLive's buildup to this game:

Sunday, September 10 2023 - 12.04pm

Hi I'm Marc Strydom, sports editor of TimesLIVE/Arena Holdings Digital — and I'm your live blog host today for all the updates you'll need for the Springboks vs Scotland at Stade Vélodrome — South Africa's 2023 World Cup opener — in Marseille today (Sunday). 

Kickoff is at 5.45pm — SA and France time, which are one and the same — and a quick qualifier is that I am not in Marseille, or France at all, of course, but in my living room in Melville, Joburg, to give you the armchair view of all the action just about as it happens. Liam Del Carme, our senior rugby writer, is in the stadium and covering all the news and events from France, and do catch all his excellent coverage, and all TimesLIVE, Sunday Times and Arena Holdings' other World Cup news and coverage, at our Rugby World Cup page.

By the way, all the pools, results and fixtures, updated throughout the tournament, can be found in the tab too, or simply by clicking here.

I will endeavour to remain in my living room, but have the dreaded scourge of load-shedding scheduled at about 4pm, in which case I will be streaming the game on my laptop, or might even run to a nearby bar/cafe in Melville, to continue the coverage. But the coverage will continue, Eskom's intervention notwithstanding.

One last small disclaimer — those of you who have followed my byline know I'm a football writer; I have followed rugby all my life and will do my best forthwith to ensure I describe the action to the best of my ability. Don't shoot me if I confuse some terminology or rule complexities — feel free to correct me on Twitter: @marc_strydom.

Enjoy the game (and hopefully my coverage of it!) — let's get this AmaBokkeBokke defence show on the road!


(See also, while we're at it, some of TL's build-up and profiles going into the tournament:



Pool A Pool B Pool C | Pool D

Star players:

Damian Penaud, France | Canan Moodie, South Africa | Selestino Ravutaumada, Fiji | Ardie Savea, New Zealand | Will Skelton, Australia Johnny Sexton, Ireland Antoine Dupont, France 

All the World Cup pools, fixtures and results here


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