One of the defining moments of the classic Tri Nations match that took place in Pretoria on Saturday has to be when young Springbok scrumhalf Francois Hougaard made this fantastic last ditch try saving tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper.
After affecting the turnover when the Springboks looked threatening, the Wallabies then ran the ball out from behind their own tryline as they trailed 34-31 in the second half. The Boks were under the cosh but managed to get back and form a defensive line, with a one-on-one between Hougaard and Ashley-Cooper looking likely to be a try as the Wallaby centre cut back inside to beat the cover.
Hougaard has already shown hes the business though, as his performances in the last two Tests have given some relief to South African fans who have been left without star number nine Fourie Du Preez while he recovers from shoulder surgery.
While it was desperation stuff, Hougaard managed to jolt the ball free in what has been described by Ashley-Cooper himself as game changing.
“I can safely say that had a direct result on the match and that just comes down to doing the basics well and I didn’t do it at the time,” he said.
“It was probably a wrong-sided ball carry and it probably would have been a different result if I’d carried it in my right hand. I obviously give respect to Hougaard, he did very well to make that tackle.
“It popped out of my hand and I was very disappointed with that because I know that that’s a non-negotiable for me and the other nine times out of 10 I would have kept that ball,” he added.
The tackle itself happens right at the end of this clip, but the whole passage of play is included as it was an equally thrilling breakout by the dangerous Wallaby backs.