Rugby: South Africa hold off Scotland to stay alive

 South Africa's wing JP Pietersen (right) scores a try.
South Africa's wing JP Pietersen (right) scores a try.AFP

NEWCASTLE, England (REUTERS) - South Africa held their nerve to outmuscle Scotland 34-16 in a feisty Pool B match on Saturday and keep their Rugby World Cup hopes alive.

The Springboks, upset 34-32 by Japan in their first game, dominated the first half and tries by flanker Schalk Burger and winger JP Pietersen gave them a 20-3 lead at the interval.

Scotland fought back with a fine try by winger Tommy Seymour after an interception, but the reliable boot of South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard kept his team in control of the match.

Winger Bryan Habana's late try applied gloss to the South Africa win and they top Pool B ahead of their final group match against the United States.