Wallabies 30 – Springbokke 13
Australia kicked off their Tri-Nations campaign with a convincing win over South Africa at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. The Wallabies saw no reason to deviate from the high-pace ball in hand game plan that served the All Blacks so well. The Boks once again looked like a shadow of their former selves, falling off tackles and being comprehensively beaten at the breakdown.
The Bokke upheld the tradition of losing a man to a yellow card within the first 5 minutes via Jacques Furry with a dangerous tackle; clearly an IRB conspiracy. However, despite making a mess of the South African defence around the fringes of the ruck in the first half, Australia couldn’t finish their opportunities, each time the movement breaking down at the last. Often this was due to a Saffa infringement, and with Giteau kicking 4/4 early on, the Wallabies took points control of a game that they never relinquished.
It wasn’t until the 40th minute that Matt Giteau managed to squeeze a ball out of a 3 man tackle for Drew Mitchell to juggle over the line and score. Gits missed the shot, but the Wallabies went into oranges 17-3 up, Steyne having slotted a penalty.
The second half started well, with a penalty to Australia via James O’Connor’s boot. However, there followed an extended period where South Africa managed to hold onto possession and create tries for Jacques Fourie off a quick tap, and then Gurthro Steenkamp with a flying wedge try. Piennar missed the two conversions, the score 23-13.
In the meantime BJ Botha (serially offside) and Quade Cooper (actually made a tackle) were both yellowed and it wasn’t until Trip-Hop returned to the field that Australia regained the upper hand, and after some sustained pressure on the Bokke line, Sanchez Genia made a trademark dart and dot down in the 76th minute.
Official man of the match was David Pocock who whose scavenging, tackling and general offside play was straight out of the McCaw manual. It even earned him a facial from the HamBurglar, which might prove interesting on review.
All in all a good start to the season by the Wallabies that will inspire confidence, aided by a South African side who seem to be on go slow. Movement finishing and the scrum will be key areas of review going into the next test against the All Blacks
Qantas Wallabies 30 (Drew Mitchell, Will Genia tries; Matt Giteau 5 penalty goals; James O’Connor penalty goal and conversion) defeated Springboks 13 (Morne Steyn penalty, Fourie & Steenkamp Tries) at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. (Half time: Wallabies 17-3) (Crowd: 44,284)