28-8: Wallabies thrashed at Newlands

2013-09-29 10:00

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Wallabies thrashed at Newlands

The Springboks were clearly the superior side as they beat the Wallabies at Newlands yesterday to keep alive their hopes of challenging for the Rugby Championship when they play the All Blacks at Ellis Park on Saturday.

But the yellow cards shown to Flip van der Merwe and Duane Vermeulen cost the Boks their attacking thrust and they were unable to get the all-important bonus point they were after.

The Springboks showed attacking intent right from the start as they moved the ball down their back line and turned down the chance to kick their first penalty to the posts.

They elected instead to try to set up a driving line-out to start the push for the four tries they needed for that bonus point.

The Wallabies weathered the initial storm with both sides getting on the board by way of penalties from their respective goal kickers, Christian Leali’ifano and Morné Steyn.

Steyn’s successful kick brought up the Bok fly half’s 600th test point. Then the Boks hit a purple patch to build up a decisive lead.

The first try was a classic piece of Springbok forward play as a penalty kicked to touch saw Duane Vermeulen rise to win the deep throw; Fourie du Preez feigned to go left, but then threw the ball to the right, skipping Tendai Mtawarira and Francois Louw.

The ball found hooker Adriaan Strauss, who bullocked over the line.

The second try showed the pace and attacking potential contained in the Springbok back line as Zane Kirchner put the finishing touches on one of the tries of the season.

Captain Jean de Villiers set it up with a long skip pass to his right to send JJ Engelbrecht sprinting clear and, when the tall centre was hemmed in, he fed the mop-haired fullback who carried the ball over the goal line for a superb try.

Steyn added both conversions and, in a thrice, the Springboks had jumped into a 17-3 lead.

There was a sharp edge to the exchanges and the Wallabies suffered another setback when flanker Michael Hooper dipped under Eben Etzebeth in a tackle and sent the big lock spinning head over heels.

The tackle was adjudged to be dangerous and Hooper was sent to the sin-bin for 10 minutes, but the hot-headed actions of Willem Alberts, who flung Hooper to the ground, showed that the Boks’ discipline wasn’t everything it should have been.

Steyn kicked two more penalties to stretch the lead to 23-3.

Then, just before half-time, lock Flip van der Merwe’s self-control yet again let him down and resulted in his being yellow-carded to give the Wallabies some much-needed equity.

Wallaby wing Joe Tomane broke back into the forwards.

As he was going down in Francois Louw’s tackle, Van der Merwe lunged in with his elbow leading and pole-axed the Australian.

Referee Jérôme Garcès, who had kept a tight rein on proceedings, felt the tackle had been as dangerous as the previous incident.

The TMO confirmed this impression, and Van der Merwe would spend the first 10 minutes of the second half sitting on the bench.

Van der Merwe’s indiscretion and another yellow card against eight man Duane Vermeulen for a deliberate knockdown robbed the Boks of their momentum and it was only with under nine minutes left to play that Jean de Villiers’ men scored their third try.

A clever switch of the attacking thrust by Du Preez gave Willie le Roux the chance to skid in down the narrowest of corridors and deftly place the ball in the corner.

The outgunned Wallabies, who struggled to contain the big Bok forwards, eventually gained some consolation when debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia got their solitary try with almost his first touch of the ball in international rugby.

Australia’s record at Newlands

vs SA – lost 28-8 (2013)

vs SA – lost 29-17 (2009)

vs SA – lost 22-19 (2007)

vs SA – lost 26-22 (2003)

vs SA – lost 10-9 (1999)

vs SA – lost 27-18 (1995)*

vs England – lost 25-22 (1995)*

vs SA – won 26-3 (1992)

vs SA – lost 11-3 (1969)

vs SA – won 9-5 (1963)

vs SA – won 18-14 (1953)

vs SA – lost 17-3 (1933)

*?Refers to 1995 rugby World Cup

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