A late flurry of tries gave the Springboks a convincing 28-10 victory over the Wallabies in Cape Town, but the final score doesn’t reflect what happened for the majority of what was an extremely tight Rugby Championship Test match.
The Wallabies led 10-5 at halftime before the Springboks edged ahead with a Pat Lambie dropgoal in the 69th minute. What followed was an unbelievable ten minutes of rugby, with the home side scoring three tries, to add to the one in the first half, and claim a bonus point victory.
“I feel sorry for the players, they set the game up for the win and that won’t be reflected in the final score, it will probably be forgotten,” said Wallabies coach Ewan McKenzie post match.
“There was some really good stuff from our guys, we were in a good position to win it. We will have to look at the video and see why we didn’t.”
With the match finally poised, a string of well timed substitutions, including that of former IRB Player of the Year Schalk Burger, seemed to up the momentum and tempo for South Africa. Lambie took control, and despite missing kicks at goal, slotted the dropgoal and scored a great try of his own.
Captain Jean De Villiers scored twice, including after the final hooter, to cap what was a memorable day for Springbok rugby, as they gave themselves a chance of snatching the Rugby Championship title, if it were not for the All Blacks’ victory over Argentina a few hours later.
“Australia’s defence was awesome in the first 60 minutes and we were frustrated at times,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. “But the players that came off the bench upped the tempo and were brilliant. Last year we scored the most tries in the competition, I know we can score when we keep the ball in hand.”
De Villiers said he is looking forward to the clash with rivals New Zealand next weekend.
“We will take all the good from this match into next week. We came so close to beating New Zealand in Wellington and I think we can be very competitive next weekend at Ellis Park.”
Below are quick highlights (longer up soon if possible) and the press conference chat with shell-shocked McKenzie and Wallaby skipper Michael Hooper is on the next page.