Scotland 15-30 South Africa: World champions prevail despite Hogg feat

Stuart Hogg scored his 23rd & 24th Test rugby tries, but it wasn't enough against South Africa
Autumn international: Scotland and South Africa Scotland (10) 15 Con: Russell Pen South Africa (8) 30 Try: Mapimpi Con: E Jantjies Pens E Jantjies 3 Pollard 2 F Steyn

Despite Stuart Hogg being his country's joint top try scorer, Scotland lost to South Africa.

After Hogg's reply to Makazole Mapimpi, the Scots led 10-8 at halftime

Mapimpi crossed over again, and Elton Jantjies was able to kick the tourists even further.

Hogg scored his 24th Test attempt before Handre Pollard, Frans Steyn and Handre Pollard kicked additional penalties for the Springboks.

Finn Russell was unable to convert one of the Hogg attempts and also missed a penalty.

Hogg, the full-back for the British and Irish Lions, has scored as many Scotland tries now as Ian Smith or Tony Stanger.

Gregor Townsend's team will end their series next weekend at home in Japan, while South Africa takes on England.

Scotland was in a positive mood after four consecutive wins. The win over Australia last weekend was their third against a top-three world side.

However, the Springboks are an entirely different animal from Australia, France, or England. This would be Scotland's ultimate test to prove that they are truly elite.

It was a beautiful moment when Tom Smith, the great Scotland and Lions player, presented the match ball to his family, who had supported him throughout his fight with cancer. Their hero was greeted by the Murrayfield crowd with a warm reception.

Soon, the noise subsided as the action began. The men in green got to work. The first scrum? Penalty South Africa. The penalties continued to pile up as the Scots tried to resist the Boks's relentless waves of runners.

They managed to repel it and Duhan van den Merwe's ferocious break from deep inside his own half brought Scotland into opposition territory. After an initial onslaught, the Scots won a penalty and led Russell 3-0.

Jantjies quickly overcame this and the Boks scored the first try just before the half hour mark.

Although there seemed to be no danger, the ball was sent through South Africa's backline. Rufus McLean hesitated for just a second before deciding which attacker to take. That was enough for Mapimpi to run up the touchline and score.

It was agreed that Russell must be at his best if Scotland is to cause a shock. With a cross-field kick to Van der Merwe, the Racing fly-half ignited his side and opened up the Boks' defence. Chris Harris, Nick Haining, and Hogg handled the situation brilliantly. Hogg dived over, surpassing Rob Kearney's record for Test rugby's most-capped fullback. It was a spectacular try, and Russell's conversion gave Scots a 2-point lead.

If Russell had not given away a simple penalty chance at half-time, it could have been a five point cushion. The home support was worried that Russell's miss could backfire on them.

Mapimpi made himself the extra man to run in his second attempt, despite the visitors taking the lead in the second period. Jantjies' conversion, and a penalty shortly after, gave the world champions an 8-point lead. Scotland is a mountain climbing country.

Townsend tried to reach for the most powerful weapon possible, throwing on Hamish Watson. But Jantjies struck once more from the tee, as the Boks began to pull away at 10-21.

The Scots refused silence. Hogg was able to make another impressive move and raced over for the second attempt of the match.

It was a six-point game, and everything seemed possible. But substitute Pollard ended any hopes of a celebrated Scottish victory with a penalty to either side of Steyn's long-range one to put the Springboks out reach.

Scotland is a rising team, but this was a reminder that they still have a long way to go.

Scotland: Hogg (capt); McLean, Harris, Scott, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Schoeman, McInally, Z Fagerson, Skinner, Gilchrist, Haining, Ritchie, M Fagerson

Alternatives: Ashman. Bhatti. Kebble. Watson. Horne. Hastings. Kinghorn

South Africa: Le Roux; Kriel, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; E Jantjies, H Jantjies; Nche, Mbonambi, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi, Smith, Vermeulen

Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, De Jager, Wiese, Reinach, Pollard, F Steyn

Referee: Angus Gardner, Australia