Sunday, August 31, 2008
The Springboks came out firing at fortress Ellis Park on Saturday as they played the type of rugby that was expected of them, running in eight tries against the uninspired Wallaby team. Winger Jongi Nokwe made history by becoming the first player to socre four tries in a Tri Nations match on the way to the 53-8 thumping.
While the match itself was a dead rubber, pride was at stake as South Africa desperately needed a win to regain the faith of the nation. Producing a record winning margin against Australia went a long way towards that.
With the Tri Nations decider set for Brisbane against the All Blacks in a fortnights time, the visitors were dire, looking anything but the same side who beat South Africa so easily just one week ago.
The finishing from South Africa was top class this week though, with Nokwe easily completing the opportunities handed to him. The injury after his fourth try was unfortunate, but his performance justified the faith shown in him when Jake White plucked him out of obscurity three years back.
Nokwe's quartet were complemented by four more from lock Andries Bekker, centre Adrian Jacobs, replacement flyhalf Ruan Pienaar and Odwa Ndungane.
A flurry of Australian replacements came on in the hope of making the score line respectable, and George Smith, now the highest capped flanker of all time, contributed to setting up the attack that saw wing replacement Drew Mitchell go over in the corner.
It was too little too late though, as the South African home crowd finally had something to cheer about after a disappointing few weeks.
"We are not yet where we want to be but that's what we expect from the team," said South African coach Peter de Villiers, who has been heavily criticised after a three-game losing streak that has ensured they will finish last in the Tri-Nations.
Australia coach Robbie Deans defended De Villiers, saying: "The reality of this industry is that someone has to be the bottom side in the Tri-Nations but that doesn't mean they're a bad side.
"It was a great win, a good performance by the Springboks," Deans told the press conference. "They got in the game and built some momentum, while we dropped off."
Australia return home, with the All Blacks only needing to draw in Brisbane to win the 2008 Tri Nations. They (NZ) face Samoa midweek though, a game which promises plenty of action so well do our best to cover it here on RD.
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.