The Tri-Nations trophy is set to change hands in 2010 after the Springboks went down 30-13 to Australia in Brisbane on Saturday.
The Tri-Nations trophy is set to change hands in 2010 after the Springboks conceded their third straight defeat, going down 30-13 to Australia at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
With a team packed with Brisbane-based players from the Reds, the national side used similar tactics to the Super 14 franchise to fracture the South African defence by moving the ball around at pace.
The sides scored two tries a piece, but the Wallabies domination of the breakdown forced the men in green and gold to bleed penalties.
As the scoreline suggests, the Wallabies were in charge from the start and two yellow cards didn't help the South African cause. Once again there will be cries from the Republic in protest to some inconsistent refereeing but few will dispute that Australia were the superior team on the day.
The defending champions will now head from their three-match tour without a single tournament point, making a title defence near-impossible.
Its was dÃ©jÃ vu all over again for the Boks as they were down to fourteen men in the opening minutes for the third time in as many weeks. Jaque Fourie was the guilty party this week – for tip tackle – but unlike in New Zealand the visitors were able to weather the storm and didn't concede points before the centre's return.
But even with a full quota on the field, the Springboks struggled to contain their free-running hosts. A few too many missed tackles had Australia rushing forward and the pressure resulted in a 12-3 lead after 30 minutes with Matt Giteau faultless from the kicking tee.
As expected, David Pocock made a real nuisance of himself at the rucks and on a couple of occasions chucked a spanner in the opposition works when they looked set to strike back.
A fudged Springbok line-out on the stroke on half time allowed the Wallabies to open a healthy gap as Drew Mitchell juggled his way over the line, sending the teams to the changing rooms with the hosts up 17-3.
Australia pressed home their advantage after the break as Giteau and James O'Connor added a penalty each to stretch the lead to 23-3.
The second of those penalties saw BJ Both sent to the bin for killing the Wallabies' ball in an attacking position. Quade Cooper was also given his marching orders for a lifting tackle and the visitors used their extra man to build some momentum.
A quick-tap penalty from Ruan Pienaar opened the way for Fourie to muscle his way over from short range but the horse had already bolted.
South Africa sparked hopes of a late comeback when Gurthro Steenkamp charged over after a line-out inside the last ten minutes.
But he hosts would have the last laugh however as Will Genia dived over after being set up by a rolling maul in the dying minutes, capping a super performance by the Wallabies and sending the world champions home to think again.
Man of the match: Tough one to call with both Rocky Elsom and David Pocock putting in huge performances. We'll give it to the latter for his tireless work at the breakdown.
Moment of the match: Australia had been drifting further and further ahead but Drew Mitchell's try essentially ended the game as a contest. It summed up the day: The Springboks failed to do the basics right and were caught out by the pace of the Aussie attack.
Villain of the match: Fourie and Cooper were both guilty of lifting the man in the tackle, but neither incident looked nasty enough to merit the 'villain' tag.
Tries: Mitchell, Genia
Pens: Giteau 5, O'Connor
For South Africa :
Tries: Fourie, Steenkamp
Yellow cards: Fourie (SA – 3rd min – dangerous tackle); Botha (SA – 46th min – cynical offside); Cooper (Aus – 54th min – dangerous tackle)
Australia: 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 James O'Connor, 13 Rob Horne, 12 Matt Giteau, 11 Drew Mitchell, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Richard Brown, 7 David Pocock, 6 Rocky Elsom (c), 5 Nathan Sharpe, 4 Dean Mumm, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Saia Fainga'a, 1 Benn Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Stephen Moore, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Ben McCalman, 20 Luke Burgess, 21 Berrick Barnes, 22 Kurtley Beale.
South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Wynand Oliver, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Ryan Kankowski, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Danie Rossouw, 3 BJ Botha, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Gurthro Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Dewald Potgieter, 20 Francois Hougaard, 21 Butch James, 22 Juan de Jongh.
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Keith Brown (New Zealand), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)
Assessor: Steve Hilditch