Planet Rugby

Springboks end Brisbane hoodoo

07th September 2013 12:52

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Willie Le Roux South Africa celebrates

Bonus point: Willie le Roux scored try number four

South Africa claimed their first ever win at Suncorp Stadium - and their first in Brisbane for 42 years - by beating Australia 38-12 in their Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.

The results means the Springboks will head to New Zealand next week at the top of the standings, one point above the All Blacks by virtue of a four-try bonus point.

Off the platform of a dominant scrum, South Africa led from start to finish, outscoring their hosts four tries to none.

The Boks were 16-6 ahead at half-time, and Australia were still in touch until the hour mark, but a disastrous last quarter for Ewen McKenzie's men saw the Boks race clear and leave the Wallabies without a single Rugby Championship point after three games under their new coach.

The Springboks got off to a great start via a try from Coenie Oosthuizen - on as a blood replacement - with a powerful drive off the back of a line-out. Morné Steyn's conversion had the Boks seven points up after as many minutes.

That early momentum was lost however when Willem Alberts saw yellow for a deliberate knock down. Christian Lealiifano slotted Australia's first points from the penalty but, after Will Genia tried to kick the ball out the back of South Africa's scrum, Steyn could reply in kind to leave the Boks 10-3 up.

A period of sustained pressure from the Wallabies resulted in just three points - Jean de Villiers penalised for slowing the ball at a ruck - and the visitors could again cancel out the Wallaby score when Quade Cooper was caught offside and Steyn split the uprights.

Another Steyn three-pointer on 34 minutes - after Israel Folau held on under pressure from Duane Vermeulen - gave the Springboks a 10-point lead with half-time looming large.

The home side had a chance to pull points back before the break but Genia chose to hunt a try from a line-out instead, but his pack didn't deliver. In fact, the Wallabies were lucky not to be trailing by more after Bismarck du Plessis knocked-on a metre from the line, before Steyn sent an effort at goal wide.

South Africa would nevertheless have been happy with their lead at the interval.

The Wallabies made the better start to the second period, forcing an early penalty at the breakdown which Lealiifano duly converted to keep his team in touch at 16-9.

But like South Africa in the first-half, the initiative was lost due to a yellow card, this time for Michael Hooper's tip tackle on Bryan Habana. Steyn sent the penalty over to restore the 10-point gap with half an hour left to play.

The kicking duel continued as Lealiifano hit the target after Flip van der Merwe shoulder checked Adam-Ashley Cooper, who was chasing a kick ahead.

The Boks would land the killer blow on the hour mark though when De Villiers scored a wonderful try. Habana burst down the touchline and chipped ahead, with the wing taken out by Cooper en route. But Juandre Kruger claimed the ball one-handed before it was recycled to the speeding De Villiers.

Steyn missed the conversion but the damage was done and the Wallabies would have to look for an extra gear to pull this one out of the fire.

Instead it was the Springboks who cut loose with Zane Kirchner and Willie le Roux combining to send the former over in the corner before the latter touched down in the same place just minutes later to seal a convincing bonus-point win.

Man of the match: A pat on the back for the entire Springbok pack, who outmuscled their opposition as required by the Heyneke Meyer blueprint for victory. Duane Vermeulen and Francois Louw were excellent once again but Bismarck du Plessis was our pick on his return to the starting XV, standing out with his sheer strength and impact at the breakdown.

Moment of the match: The Wallabies were very much still in the game until the Jean de Villiers try took the wind out of their sails.

Villain of the match: Lots of niggle, but no real nasty stuff to report.

The scorers:

For Australia:
Pens: Lealiifano 4
Yellow card: Hooper

For South Africa:
Tries: Oosthuizen, De Villiers, Kirchner, Le Roux
Cons: Steyn 3
Pens: Steyn 4
Yellow card: Alberts

Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Nick Cummins, 13 Adam-Ashley Cooper, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 James O'Connor, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 James Horwill (captain), 4 Rob Simmons, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 James Slipper.
Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Scott Sio, 18 Ben Alexander, 19 Kane Douglas, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Nic White, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 Jesse Mogg.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Juandré Kruger, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Television match official: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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Rugby Championship Table
PosTeamPPts
1New Zealand628
2South Africa619
3Australia69
4Argentina62