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Hastings wary of Springboks power

Venue: Murrayfield Stadium Date: Saturday, 15 November Kick-off: 1430 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Sport website, with live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Schalk Burger in action for South Africa
South Africa ran out winners in Cardiff last weekend

Former Scotland and Lions captain Gavin Hastings expects his countrymen to face a highly motivated South Africa.

"The South Africans are absolutely determined to come over here and lay down a marker," he told BBC Sport.

"They want to smash their opponents into the ground and say: 'Right guys, if you think this is bad wait until you come down with the Lions'.

"That's the mentality of the South Africans and it is up to Scotland to stand up to that."

The Springboks, who host the British and Irish Lions next year, staved off a ferocious comeback from Wales to edge a 20-15 win at the Millennium Stadium last weekend.

The tourists looked vulnerable in Cardiff but Hastings believes Scotland will struggle against the world champions unless the home side can improve in attack.

We need to score tries to win matches; it's a simple fact

Gavin Hastings
The Scots enjoyed lots of possession against New Zealand but could only manage two penalties from Chris Paterson in the 32-6 defeat.

"You cannot win too many games of rugby if you don't score tries," said Hastings, who scored 667 points for Scotland in 61 appearances.

"We did it against England in the Six Nations last year and we did it against Italy in the World Cup but that's just two occasions.

"We need to score tries to win matches; it's a simple fact."

Hastings played all three Tests on the Lions' 1989 tour to Australia and led the side on the trip to New Zealand in 1993.

Fellow Scot Ian McGeechan was in charge of those tours and will be at the helm again for next year's campaign.

SA will need to defend better - Muir

"Anyone who performs well for Scotland against South Africa is going to get noticed," added Hastings.

"You have to be part of a successful side, whether at club or international level, because it's so much harder to get noticed if your team is struggling.

"We saw three years ago, when Scotland were in a struggling period, we only got three players on the tour.

"I'm really hopeful that we'll get a bigger representation this time.

"If you ask Jason White, Chris Cusiter and Gordon Bulloch what it's like to tour with the Lions recently, they will say it was the greatest experience of their rugby lives, which it was for me."

MY SPORT: DEBATE
One Scot who is sure to have already caught the eye of McGeechan is skipper Mike Blair.

The Edinburgh scrum-half turned in a good performance against the All Blacks and has been praised for a number of impressive displays for his country.

"Mike Blair has shown great maturity and character for Scotland," said Hastings.

"He's one of those guys who understands and reads the game very well. At times, he can seem to be one step ahead of his team-mates.

"He's got a great attitude to the game and he's great role model for younger players coming through.

"At the moment, Mike is showing what is required to be in consideration for Lions selection and let's hope some of his team-mates can follow his lead."

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see also
Hadden expects tough Springboks
12 Nov 08 |  Scottish
Lamont replaces brother for Scots
11 Nov 08 |  Scottish
Blair pays tribute to All Blacks
08 Nov 08 |  Scottish
Scotland 6-32 New Zealand
08 Nov 08 |  Scottish
Wales 15-20 South Africa
08 Nov 08 |  Welsh


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