Tepid Boks go down to Australia in Brisbane, face mountain to climb against All Blacks
South Africa’s poor record on the road continued as they suffered a 23 - 18 loss to Australia during their lively Rugby Championship clash at the Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
The Springboks, who remains second on the standings, have won only one of their three matches so far in the tournament and they face a mountain to climb against the all conquering New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday.
The All Blacks, who rested several of their key players in anticipation of the Springboks arrival next week, made light work of Argentina (46-24) in the other match of the competition in Nelson.
For Australia, who have returned the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate, have registered their first win after back to back losses to New Zealand but they remain on the bottom of the table.
It must be mentioned that things could have been different for the Springboks had Francois Louw’s disparate try was not disallowed on the stroke of full time for a knock-on by Malcolm Marx in the build-up.
The first try of the match went the way of for Australia inside two minutes through their skipper Michael Hooper following pressure on the Springboks backline on the edge of the try line.
The Springbok reacted quickly and Elton Jantjies found the middle of the poles for three points after Allan Alaalatoa conceded a scrum penalty shortly after the Wallabies had taken the lead.
The visitors took the lead for the first time in the match after 14 minutes when Bongi Mbonambi touched down following a strong driving maul from an attacking line-out.
After 22 minutes, the Wallabies had a chance to draw the match level at 10-10 but Toomua’s long range penalty drifted wide to the left before to hit the upright on the path of Aphiwe Dyantyi who cleared the imminent danger.
At this stage, the Boks were dominating in almost all spheres of the game and they were duly rewarded with their second try of the match through winger Makazole Mapimpi who touched down on the corner after he was released by Faf de Klerk after 28 minutes.
The home reacted quickly but they were denied a brilliant tackle from Jesse Kriel on Koroibite but their good work was undone by a terrible mistake by Mbomanbi from the resultant lineout that fell on the path of Toomua who had the easiest tasks of sliding over.
In the closing stages of the half, Jantjies converted a penalty after the Boks made a mess of the Australian scrum in front of goal and Reece Hodge put away a long range penalty as the Springboks took a slender one point lead to the break.
Australia returned from the break more determined to retake the lead in the early stages as they put persistent pressure on South Africa but the visitors responded with a determined collective defensive performance to deny them from scoring.
The only thing that the Wallabies got for putting pressure on South Africa was a penalty that was converted by Toomua from close range to take a two points lead after 55 minutes and he was on point against later with another three pointer to seal this important victory for them.
Australia (17) 23
South Africa (18) 18
Tries: Michael Hooper, Matt Toomua
Conversions: Matt Toomua (2)
Penalties: Reece Hodge (1), Matt Toomua (2)
Tries: Bongi Mbonambi, Makazole Mapimpi
Conversions: Elton Jantjies (1)
Penalties: Elton Jantjies (2)