Springboks earn scrappy win over Wallabies

2014-09-27 20:31

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Two tries in the final 10 minutes from captain Jean de Villiers earned South Africa an untidy 28-10 bonus-point victory over Australia in their Rugby Championship match at Newlands today.

The Boks were below par but kept scrapping and incessant pressure in the closing stages paid off as De Villiers grabbed a double and flyhalf Pat Lambie another try to punish a tiring Australia to the relief of the crowd in a stadium where the Wallabies have not won since 1992.

Marcell Coetzee got the opening try for the home side with flyhalf Handre Pollard adding a penalty and his replacement Lambie a drop-goal and a conversion to go with his try.

Australia, who were the better side for 60 minutes, scored a try through winger Adam Ashley-Cooper and a conversion and penalty from flyhalf Bernard Foley.

"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," Australia coach Ewan McKenzie told reporters.

"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."

It was mostly a ragged display from the Springboks until the closing stages when Australia wilted and they took control.

There were too many loose passes, too many tackles missed and too little cohesion, while in contrast the Australians were doing all the basics right in the opening hour.

"Australia's defence was awesome in the first 60 minutes and we were frustrated at times," South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer said.

"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."

Both sides had wished for a dry field in the build-up to the test and got one, which did allow for more ball in hand.

But having played in the wet in their previous three games, the Boks looked like they had forgotten what it felt like to play running rugby.

Fullback Willie le Roux was a particular culprit, passing when he should have kicked and kicking when he needed to pass which served only to put team mates under pressure.

Australia were much more incisive, finding gaps in the home defence with regularity and were only kept at bay by some at times remarkable last-ditch defending from the Boks.

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