Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Courtney Lawes crunches Charlie Hodgson


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Jebb Sinclair red card for leading elbow


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


George Pisi hit makes Shane Geraghty ill


Eddie Butler on Jonny Wilkinson career


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Springboks claim convincing win over the Wallabies in Cape Town

The Springboks were disappointed to miss out on a much needed bonus point as they beat the Wallabies 28-8 in an eventful Rugby Championship Test on Saturday. They are now set up for a deciding encounter with the All Blacks, but have it all to do.

A record win over the Wallabies in Cape Town wasn't enough to satisfy skipper Jean De Villiers, who came off the field saying that he's never been so disappointed to beat them by twenty points.

Scoring three tries in total, two in the first half and one ten minutes out, the Springboks failed to pick up a crucial bonus point that would have put them in a good position going into next week's crunch championship decider with the All Blacks.

"If you had given us a 20-point win over Australia at the beginning of this year, we would have grabbed it," a frustrated De Villiers said post match. "To beat a very good Australian side by that margin is a great achievement, but having given ourselves 40 minutes to score two tries in the second half, there is some disappointment that we did not manage it."

Discipline was a bit of a problem as a yellow card to Flip van der Merwe, who was has since been suspended, didn't help matters. Duane Vermeulen was also yellow carded for a deliberate slapdown, while the Wallabies lost two players of thei own, with Michael Hooper sinbinned for a dangerous tackle, and Sitaleki Timani carded for leading with the shoulder.

The home side will be pleased with some of the rugby they produced, specifically the play of Fourie Du Preez and the try scored by Zane Kirchner, but will be unhappy with the loss of momentum in the second half, and the try they let in, scored by debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia.

"I want to see a lot of improvement against the All Blacks. We want to be the best team in the world and win the World Cup and to do that we must improve game-by-game," said coach Heyneke Meyer, who seemed content with looking at the bigger picture.

New Zealand scored a bonus point victory over Argentina, so are five points clear going into the final match. To win the Rugby Championship next weekend at Ellis Park, the Springboks will need to beat the All Blacks by seven or more, and score four tries in the process.

Below are extended match highlights, including some huge tackles, great rugby and one quality sidestep in particular. There were a few talking points, good and bad, so let us know your thoughts.

Posted at 6:55 am | 42 comments

Flip van der Merwe suspended for dangerous play

Posted in The Rugby Championship

Viewing 42 comments

fantasticbarnsmell September 30, 2013 10:13 am

Fantastic 2nd try... just goes to show that the Springboks can run if they want to, pity they don't explore this option more often.

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beast4president September 30, 2013 10:18 am

Those clips show the spark in this SA team who are willing to back themselves and chuck the ball around with such skill. The clips don't show the frustrating times that we got sucked into scrappy play, or 'white line fever' after gaining the lead. Over confidence has been the thorn in the South African rugby side for as long as I can remember. If we had kept composure and stuck to the game plan we could've put 50 points on this Aus team. Frustrating but I'm sure we'll get it together. Don't care too much about winning the trophy - just as long as we beat NZ next week, I'll be happy because we ARE a force to be reckoned with.

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Olan the destroyer October 01, 2013 5:08 am

A bunch of cheapshot merchants

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H_Ian_M September 30, 2013 12:16 pm

That Hooper card was bullshit. Really unlucky, nothing malicious and he couldn't predict what would happen. The ref even said "not intentional, but dangerous" when he waved him off - that's not a justification for giving a card. What about if two players collide in mid-air whilst jumping for a high ball? That's dangerous, maybe we should card one of them at random. Or a collapsed scrum, maybe we should send one player to the sin bin pour encourager les autres. Cards should be saved for deliberate acts of malice, either because they're dangerous, cynical or game-changing (e.g. high tackles, deliberate knockons, repeatedly collapsing scrums that would otherwise cause a try)

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Reality September 30, 2013 12:53 pm

Yeah, shouldn't Ezebeth have been penalised for jumping into the tackle? Obviously Hooper didn't lift him, so I don't see how he could have been responsible for how he landed.

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Ottawa Rugger September 30, 2013 3:38 pm

I've noticed Etzebeth does that a fair bit, meaning leap into space forwards not up. It always seems to get him over the gain line by getting himself over the tackler's shoulder. While effective, it was bound to lead to something like this. Plus i think it's illegal since he's going intentionally to the ground.

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Pipo October 01, 2013 3:41 am

YES! I thought the same watching it live and in slow motion, Etzebeth should be the one taking a yellow card (or at least a penalty) for JUMPING INTO THE TAKCLE.

Even the Under 16 yos in my club know never to jump into a tackle. It is illegal to begin with, it is also stupid because then the tackle can more easily push you back and IT IS DANGEROUS.

Am I wrong here? I seriously doubt it, but please do speak your mind.

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Conman September 30, 2013 2:46 pm

Yea, I agree. Terrible decision to sin bin Hooper. It was a penalty against Etzebeth for jumping into the tackle. Hooper did absolutely nothing wrong.

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joeythelemur September 30, 2013 4:44 pm

Agreed. Does anyone think that Hooper could have caused Etzebeth to flip like that on his own? No lifting, no intent. It was entirely on Etzebeth that he came down out of control.

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joeythelemur September 30, 2013 4:51 pm

However you look at the initial infraction, Alberts was very lucky to not be penalized for the body slam after the whistle. Slamming Hooper on his shoulder/head looked at least as dangerous than how Etzebeth landed. I don't think the ref even had a word with him.

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Badge September 30, 2013 5:23 pm

Coming from a Bok fan, I'm in complete agreement. Eben jumped into the tackle. It wasn't a pole vault but when you're that tall, you're most likely going to catch a little air from contact. Hooper should never have received that card.

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spicksandspecks September 30, 2013 1:26 pm

Well done to the Boks who simply outplayed us. Another very poor performance by the Wallabies in all areas - tackling, handling errors, scrum, high ball, isolation at break-down. About the only positive was Will Genia's return to form, although Israel Falau's poor form cancelled this out a bit. Hard to see how we can improve when we make the same errors each match.
H_Ian_M complained about Hooper's yellow card. I thought Timani's was even more outrageous. He hit his own player! Is that now a yellow card offence, or is the intent what earned him the card?

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Ottawa Rugger September 30, 2013 3:34 pm

It was the intent. I'm sure his team mates didn't quite like it, but I'm sure Folau was even less appreciative.

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DrG October 06, 2013 7:20 pm

I thought intent doesn't count?

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finedisregard September 30, 2013 1:55 pm

What's with the players pleading their cases to the ref when he wants to have a word? Never seen a player change a refs mind.

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FoXtroT September 30, 2013 2:02 pm

What incident are you referring to?

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joeythelemur September 30, 2013 4:53 pm

Hooper pleaded a bit before his card came out, I think he was not sure what had even happened. And Lambie, kinda funny watching Owens just ignore him!

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Ottawa Rugger September 30, 2013 3:35 pm

Yeah, I think that's why both Garces and Owens didn't even respond to Lambie when he was pleading his case
good on them, IMO

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FoXtroT September 30, 2013 5:22 pm

Good on them? He had a legitimate cause for concern and that try should never have been allowed. He was in no way disrespectful, as a player you are certainly allowed to ask the referee something like that.

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joeythelemur September 30, 2013 5:36 pm

Shouldn't have been allowed because Lambie rolled the ball directly at the ref? Agreed that he wasn't disrespectful, but he knew 100% what he was doing, trying to kill the opportunity to take it quick.

I'd love to be in the room for referee rating when they go through stuff like this; would they say they got it right?

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matt September 30, 2013 5:54 pm

He knew what he was doing, but that doesnt mean that the officials can ignore the rules. If they want they can penalise him for buggering around with the ball after going into touch, but they cannot just allow a try that should never have been possible.

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finedisregard September 30, 2013 7:36 pm

I was referring to Hooper and van der Merwe's yellow cards.

When I was a kid I was taught to never speak to a referee and direct all questions to the captain of the team.

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Tyler Ref September 30, 2013 10:20 pm

Just a thought here, but if we look at the purpose behind the laws for a moment, the law regarding quick throw-ins was designed to prevent teams from gaining an advantage when attempting to throw in quickly.

If a ball leaves the playing enclosure and a new one is passed to a player by someone outside of the game, or if a ball is caught by someone outside of the game and then passed to a player where they can acceptably take the lineout, then that player has gained an advantage because of the influence of the outside person.

Patrick Lambie rolling the ball at the official impacted the game in no way whatsoever. The Wallabies, taking the quick lineout, gained no advantage because of this contact, and whether or not the ball touched the official, the outcome would have been the same.

Also, the wording of the law states that "A quick throw-in is not permitted if another person has touched the ball..." Interesting that the wording states that "another person has touched the ball", and that it doesn't read: A quick throw-in is not permitted if the ball comes into contact with... Or "the ball touches". The statement in law states that the person touches the ball, implying an intended touch/action. The ball rolling into the leg of the AR is not the AR touching the ball, it is the ball touching, or making contact with the AR.

I'd be inclined to play on in this scenario, as was the AR whose leg was contacted(as it would have been his call to stop play), as was the referee, even hearing Patrick Lambie's pleas to stop play.

Thoughts?

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matt September 30, 2013 11:14 pm

I agree with you that letting the play continue is the common sense approach, but it happens all the time that someone comes into contact with the ball without having any impact, yet the quick throw is stopped. The refs needs to decide one way or the other how they are going to ref the game

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iluvyomumma September 30, 2013 2:37 pm

felt sorry for Hooper. Ezebeth's own fault and he should have been penalised for jumping into the tackle. Insidently, jumping into the tackle is a pointless move anyway as you lose all power and momentum!!! either way harsh. Timani's I don't know which way to go as it is a shoulder charge but he took his eyes off the ruck so it wasn't as if he was aiming at someone. A peanlty would have been enough here.
I'm more concerned about the eye gouge!! hope someone gets cited for that.
Lastly, i felt very sorry for Lambie as I noticed live him roll the ball into the touch judge and thought "wow thats smart" so they couldn't take a quick line out. I can't help but think some of the officials at the moment aren't as smart as the players when it comes to the laws of the game. The two best are Allain Rolland who's retiring and Steve Walsh. the others i'm not convinced on.
And btw, before anyone comes in and says sour grapes or biased: I'm English and thought South Africa were the better side. I also think Walsh is a very good referee even though he's had his bad moment against England.
Pleased to see Cooper back, he's my favourite player in world rugby at the moment. So unpredictable and definitely improved his defense. The springbok no 23 looked useful, who was that??

looking forward to next week. Would like to see NZ get turned over and I fancy SA to do it.

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Eddie-g September 30, 2013 2:40 pm

The Bokke won't be that bothered by the late Oz try, it's the fact they couldn't get the bonus point try that was a big letdown - especially as they had two tries in the first 20 minutes.

The yellow cards didn't help - those calling foul on the Hooper decision, I agree it was harsh, but by the letter of the law I don't think Garces had any other option - but in the end, I think it says more about the state of Australian rugby that after a comprehensive 20 point win, SA are the side feeling they came up short.

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I_bleed_green_and_gold September 30, 2013 3:58 pm

Good game from the boks but did come up short in terms of bonus point.. What this means for next week given that the AB's got their bonus point is that we have to play attacking rugby. My problem with SA particularly against the AB's is that we dont apply the pressure on them in their 22. every penalty awarded to us 40m+ out we go for goal... These are usually the early exchanges when one is trying to assert their dominance. The AB's will keep giving penalties away in this area if we keep kicking it back... when morne is on song it is 3 points but he is usually about 75% from that distance.( last year he was terrible) I think that the AB,s not having a 45m+ kicker forces them to go for touch, Apply pressure (maybe force opposition into getting carded) and therefore play attacking rugby. beating the AB's next week but loosing the tournament is a bitter victory, much like this one. Scoring a try bonus point, preventing a 4 try AB's and winning by more than 7 really sets up next weeks contest very nicely. Hope it is a clean, clinical affair.

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joeythelemur September 30, 2013 5:01 pm

I thought Australia defended exceptionally well considering the amount of pressure. A couple lapses but really could have given up much more. Sounds like the Boks felt the same way based on their frustration at not getting the bonus point.

Cooper has a reputation for not liking to tackle, but I thought he was in the thick of things, including a big stop inside his 22. Not sure if he was truly in the wilderness form-wise during the Dean's tenure, but it seems to me he's the Wallabies best option at 10 right now. Glad to see he's back.

Why doesn't Genia start? Is he coming back from injury? He was miles better than Nick White, a totally different approach after he came on. All White seemed to do was kick away possession.

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Tom October 01, 2013 5:45 am

White was told to kick. Genia is better after a rest, they better rest Hooper soon before he gets burnt out too.

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joeythelemur October 01, 2013 2:29 pm

After reading a bit more commentary, I agree with you that it probably was more a coaching decision to kick away possession. I haven't seen much of White but tons of Genia, so I couldn't see the rationale. Didn't seem like White and Cooper clicked when they did pass, but I suppose it's a small sample size!

Question is why McKenzie would choose to gameplan it that way when SA are definitely looking dangerous with ball in hand. Keep possession and make them earn it!

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matt September 30, 2013 5:59 pm

I think it's sad that at the end of several games in this competition, a few in the 6N and all three of Lions tests one of the key talking points is the referee. I get that it's a difficult job and all, but when you have the resources that these guys have and still consistently get it so wrong there has to be something wrong.

Also, I didnt see the game in full, but was there something wrong with the pitch? In that 7 minutes of play there were at least 5 players slipping over.

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joeythelemur September 30, 2013 7:56 pm

The ref will always be a discussion point out of a game with 4 yellows. Hooper's card is certainly worthy of discussion, but you don't see anyone bagging the ref generally for this game (no one is complaining about van der Merwe's card). Of course, it wasn't that close, so no one can blame the ref for blowing it for one team or the other. It doesn't feel that this year has been any better or worse than other years, though I guess it always depends on your perspective and who you support.

Not sure about the pitch. I did watch the full replay, seem to recall there was rain prior to the match (or I'm getting confused with the NZ/Arg match, as that pitch was slick as well).

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matt September 30, 2013 11:17 pm

The ref can always be a discussion point, but in the last two significant 4N games the ref has been the key discussion point, and the lions series was a bit of a shambles because of some interesting interpretations of the scrum laws. I personally feel that this year has been a total stand out in terms of highest level reffing calls. For example I dont remember the IRB ever coming out and saying that a ref was wrong, apart from some incident with Australia making a front row injury reversal.

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FoXtroT September 30, 2013 8:05 pm

It had been raining pretty much non-stop in Cape Town up until the day before the match and just before it started a light drizzle came down.

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tennesseean_87 October 01, 2013 2:55 am

Habana had to be a bit frustrated with the only opportunities coming his way being right on the cusp of advantage ending! That would have been the bonus point, too, which is so frustrating.

Is there any way to catch these live in the US? I'd love to see next week's match live.

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joeythelemur October 01, 2013 2:34 pm

DirecTV Rugby channel (490) sometimes has them, but it seems inconsistent. I didn't see them listed this week, only ITM games, plus it's $15/mo as it's part of the sports package. Setanta used to show them, but I don't think they have in the last couple years. Might be worth checking their schedule, and that's a pay option too. Best bet is probably a live-stream online, something like livesport.tv.

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I_bleed_green_and_gold October 01, 2013 3:53 pm

it is now channel 489 for international games (at least this championship).. ITM and currie cup is on 490. I do not think that Direct TV has the rights to the end of year northern hemisphere tours though. (that might still be with setanta)
ask for some promotions or try finagle the sports package on a trial basis. They are big into getting you to buy NFL sunday ticket so you may get a deal. I got it for $5 bucks a month for 12 months i think. might cancel and then resign for super rugby.

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I_bleed_green_and_gold October 01, 2013 3:56 pm

Or, alternatively you could go to a sports bar which has DirectTV sunday ticket at 11am ET (if they are open) and ask them to put the game on... I have done this many times.

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tennesseean_87 October 01, 2013 3:04 am

Also, it's interesting how the tournament rules (re: bonus points) affect the game as much as the laws on the pitch. If there were no bonus points, SA would only need a win to take the tournament on point differential. The 4-try bonus point favors a running style of play, and the SAs excel at the kicking game. This is great for winning matches, but not getting bonus points. They'll have to kick more to touch on penalties and use the maul to get some tries next week.

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matt October 01, 2013 6:42 pm

The kicking style is great for winning matches, but the running style is great for winning fans and lucrative TV deals, and the sport is a business these days so it makes sense to reward the kind of play that people want to see.

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joeythelemur October 01, 2013 2:50 pm

Agreed that the bonus point doesn't always make sense, but "thems the rules", as they say. You could just as easily say that point differential isn't the way to determine a champion either, since playing conditions certainly affect the ability to put lots of points up (see NZ vs Arg in Hamilton compared to SA's 60 point win). In the case of a tie, I'd rather see head-to-head tries scored, or head-to-head point differential. At least then you know that it's a decider based on equal opportunity to score (meaning SA would need to beat NZ by more than 14). Just not as easy to show in a newspaper box score week to week.

I don't know that the 4-try bonus point favors a running style; I'd say SA's style is high-pressure, and that often utilizes a kicking strategy. Meyer has them running as much as ever; they put up 70+ against Argentina, put up 38 in the Wallabies backyard. They can score tries, but had bad luck in Auckland and couldn't properly seal the bonus point deal this weekend at home.

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snarose October 04, 2013 12:51 pm

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