South Africa kept their composure to down Scotland 34-16 in a thrilling Pool B match St James’ Park.
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 but it wasn’t to be South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard added 19 points to make sure of the win.
Elsewhere Japan moved a step closer to a fairytale quarter-final appearance with an emphatic win over Samoa in Milton Keynes.
Eddie Jones’ side took advantage of indiscipline in the Samoan ranks to put their noses in front thanks to the boot of fullback Ayumu Goromaru.
Samoa, who felt the full force of a Springboks backlash in a 46-6 defeat last week, barely got out of their own half in the opening 40 minutes and offered no real attacking threat throughout the contest.