Sloppy Boks take a beating

2011-07-23 20:43

James O’Connor helped himself to 19 points as Australia outclassed South Africa 39-20 in their Tri-Nations test at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney yesterday.

Wing O’Connor was the chief beneficiary of a dominant performance from the home-side, showing seven changes from the team which lost 32-23 against Samoa the week before.

The 21-year-old O’Connor scored a try and kicked four conversions and two penalties as Australia erased the demons of the Samoa loss.

The Wallabies showed far more hunger and determination at the breakdown than their opponents while the Springboks’ defence, at times, was less than desirable.

Australian coach Robbie Deans praised his players for the way they bounced back after losing to Samoa.

“Our set pieces were good, our scrummaging was good and, critically, we got our shoulders down. Not only on attack but defence as well,” Deans said after the game.

The opening minutes of the contest saw a stop-start affair but it was the Wallabies who found their range first as a double-blow from the home side left the Boks 12 points down inside 10 minutes.

The impressive Quade Cooper was at the heart of the game’s first try as the flyhalf sold an outrageous dummy inside his 22 to beat scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar.

Fullback Kurtley Beale then carried the ball up to South Africa’s 22-metre line before the ball was spun down the backline with prop Ben Alexander on hand to round off the move for a converted try.

Australia extended their lead less than two minutes later when wing Digby Ioane danced his way past the last defender on his way to an unconverted try.

It took the South Africans until the 30th minute before they managed to open their account, thanks to a 40m penalty kick from flyhalf Morne Steyn, but O’Connor restored the 12-point margin with a penalty kick of his own.

Steyn closed the gap with his second penalty, on the stroke of half-time, as the teams went to the break with Australia holding a 15-6 lead.

However, less than three minutes into a second half Cooper once again scythed through a gap in South Africa’s midfield to off-load to O’Connor, who took the pass on his knees, before flopping over from a few metres out.

O’Connor added the extra two points and the hosts wrapped up the four-try bonus point, in the 48th minute, as hooker Stephen Moore barged his way over.

Trailing 39-6 the visitors threw on a host of their reserves and substitute hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle and skipper John Smit scored two late tries.

Australia – Tries: Ben Alexander, Digby Ioane, James O’Conner, Stephen Moore, Adam Ashley-Cooper; Conversions: O’Conner (4), Penalties: O’Conner (2).
South Africa – Tries: Chiliboy Ralepelle, John Smit; Conversions: Patrick Lambie (2); Penalties: Morne Steyn (2).
Blue Bulls

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