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South Africa

  • Strauss, Kirchner, Le Roux,
    Penalty goals: Steyn (3),
    Conversions: Steyn (2),
28 - 8

Australia

  • Feauai-Sautia,
    Penalty goals: Lealifano,

The Rugby Championship: South Africa beat Australia in Cape Town

Last updated: 28th September 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Zane Kirchner of the Springboks battles with Nic White of the Wallabies

South Africa's Zane Kirchner tangles with Nic White

Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss crashes over for an early try for South Africa

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South Africa beat Australia 28-8 to keep their Rugby Championship hopes alive although they missed out on a bonus point at Newlands.

South Africa scored 23 unanswered points in the first half after an early Wallabies penalty, but could not maintain that momentum.

Hooker Adriaan Strauss and full-back Zane Kirchner went over for tries inside 15 minutes and Willie le Roux crossed for the third in the 72nd, but the Springboks could not force a fourth score.

Australia's losing run in Cape Town now dates back to 1992.

The brute power from the South African starting pack was dominant enough early on to create the gulf on the scoreboard, before the bulk of Bismarck du Plessis and Juandré Kruger were rolled out later on.

The pre-match touting of South Africa's scrum as a key weapon rung true after only three minutes, when Morne Steyn opted for the corner after James Slipper was beaten by Jannie Du Plessis.

A crossing penalty against the Boks brought Australia out of their half and yielded the first points for Lealiifano, converting a penalty from the left to give the visitors the lead.

Steyn countered with a penalty after Wallaby captain James Horwill was penalised for not rolling away - the Stade Français fly-half reaching the 600-point mark in Test rugby.

Eben Etzebeth's burst then created the platform for South Africa's first try, the Wallabies infringing to set up an attacking lineout in the corner for the hosts. Fourie du Preez - back in the side in place of Ruan Pienaar - fired a flat pass through to the other change to the Springboks, Adriaan Strauss, who crashed over.

The Boks followed it up with a sucker punch. Jean de Villiers' wide pass freed up JJ Englebrecht and the young Bulls centre sucked in the remaining Wallaby defenders to free Zane Kirchner, who scythed his way past Israel Folau to score South Africa's second try in as many minutes.

Steyn added a second penalty on the 20-minute mark and Michael Hooper's sin-binning further complicated the Wallabies afternoon after he upended Eben Etzebeth.

A third penalty from Steyn extended the Springboks' lead to 20 points as they ran Australia ragged, an unfortunate slip for de Villiers cutting out another dangerous break with the Wallabies winning a penalty at the breakdown.

Respite

Flip van der Merwe saw yellow at the start of the second half for an unnecessary forearm on Joe Tomane to give the Wallabies some brief respite, at least when it came to numbers on the park if not the scoreboard.

Through a combination of South Africa dropping their intensity and the Wallabies' building confidence, the third quarter finished scoreless with the Springboks comfortably adrift.

It was an impressive showing of persistence from Australia attacking in the South African 22 that saw Duane Vermeulen also yellow carded, but when the Wallabies needed to execute deep in South African territory they were once again found wanting.

South Africa were slack themselves - dropping passes and missing the intensity that served them so well in the opening 40 as the clock wound down. A persistent choice to kick the ball away rather than run from deep, in spite of their lead, gradually frustrated the Cape Town crowd.

They duly erupted when Willie Le Roux beat Chris Feauai-Sautia on the outside to cross in the right-hand corner, the lead stretching to 25 points and restoring order to proceedings.

With a try bonus-point in sight, the Springboks botched a five-metre lineout and then Siya Kolisi was penalised for holding on short of the Wallaby line. Should New Zealand go on to take maximum points against Argentina later on in La Plata, the missed chances will come back to haunt them.

Feauai-Sautia did seal a consolation try from a clever Cooper cross-field kick, but it was immaterial to the result.

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Phil Edwards

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