Sunday, August 24, 2008
Australian skipper Stirling Mortlock led his side to a comfortable three tries to two victory over the hapless Springboks in Durban on Saturday, winning 27-15 in match that the visitors controlled for the majority of the eighty minutes.
Australia were composed throughout, soaking up the physicality in a match that was anything but pretty. They now go to the top of the Tri Nations table after their well deserved win that included tries from Robinson, Tuqiri, and Mortlock.
The world champion South Africans are now out of Tri Nations contention after their second poor performance in succession.
The Wallaby victory was the first in South Africa since 2000, and only their second since 1992, so the achievement deserves the due praise, despite the Springboks looking confused, panicked, and generally all over the place, sparking questions about the coaching tactics and gameplan.
The 48 000 disgruntled Durban faithful booing their team off the park says it all.
The late effort by South Africa, with Adi Jacobs sneaking two quick fire tries, never really threatened Australia who were all but out of sight and never looked in danger of seeing their 12 point cushion diminished in the closing minutes.
The brutal physical nature of a Tri Nations clash has meant that Australia now face a few serious injury worries, with Berrick Barnes and Dan Vickerman being the latest casualties for Robbie Deans to deal with.
Man of the Match Rocky Elsom on the other hand, has been cited for dangerous play after pulling down Victor Matfield in the lineout.
South African front rower CJ van der Linde is also likely to miss next weeks match, as his ridiculous head butt ruck-clearing technique will no doubt land him in hot water.
All attention now turns to Johannesburg, where the Wallabies havent won since 1963 at fortress Ellis Park. In reality the result will have absolutely no bearing on the tournament, but it will be a good occasion for the visitors to get another win, and a chance for the home side to save face after a highly disappointing few weeks.
The Australian success in Durban means that the deciding match has been set up for September the 13th, when the Wallabies host the All Blacks in Brisbane.
PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.