Six Sydney sinkings: Boks head off to another hoodoo city where they haven't won in 29 years

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  • The Springboks haven't won in Australia since 2013, but they haven't played in Sydney since 2011.
  • The Boks last won in Sydney back in 1993 in what became their first Test tour in the country since 1971.
  • South Africa will play two Tests in Australia before completing the away leg of their Rugby Championship against Argentina.


South Africa generally doesn't like playing rugby in Australia and their record in the country since 1993 details that sorry record.

After winning the first Test of the 1993 tour against what was the world champions at the time, the Springboks proceeded to lose four consecutive matches until the 1998 Perth success.

The Boks would lose six of their following seven Tests Down Under until again winning in Perth in 2005. The defeats came in Brisbane (1999, 2002, 2003), Sydney (2000, 2005), Perth (2004) and Melbourne (2000), along with a draw in 2001.

Even in the post-World Cup success under Peter de Villiers, the Boks only won in Perth in 2009, followed by their drought-breaking success in Brisbane in 2013.

That means South Africa have only won five matches in Australia in 29 years, which is a poor statistic considering their stated excellence.

Here's SA's undesirable record in Sydney since that 19-12 win in 1993:

13 July 1996: Australia 21-16 South Africa

South Africa's first Tri-Nations game didn't go as expected, with Australia collecting a 21-9 lead through tries from Joe Roff, and Tim Horan, along with three penalties and a conversion from Matt Burke.

The Boks were let down by an indifferent goalkicking performance from Andre Joubert and Henry Honiball, with Pieter Hendriks' try showing what could have been for the Boks.

29 July 2000: Australia 26-6 South Africa

Four years later, the world champions' roles had been reversed and Australia, unlike the Boks, showed their dominance.

This Sydney win, underpinned by tries from Jeremy Paul and Stirling Mortlock, who also added two conversions and four penalties, was the second of three Australian wins against the Boks.

They whacked them 44-23 in the one-off Mandela Plate Challenge in Melbourne earlier that month before beating them 19-18 in Durban to seal a perfect year against Nick Mallett's charges.

9 July 2005: Australia 30-12 South Africa

Nearly five years later and again, outside of the Tri-Nations, the Boks were once more bashed in Sydney. Had Matt Giteau converted all five of the tries Australia scored on this day, the margin would have been wider than the 18-point gap.

South Africa only had four penalties from Percy Montgomery to show for their work, with five tries from Giteau (two), Stephen Larkham, Drew Mitchell, and Mat Rogers drowning Jake White's side.

5 August 2006: Australia 20-18 South Africa

A year later and three weeks after what remains the record 49-0 hammering in Brisbane, the Boks returned to Sydney on the back of three consecutive losses to France, Australia, and New Zealand.

Rogers' 78th-minute try, where he got around Montgomery in the left-hand corner, condemned the Boks to a fourth consecutive defeat.

This was a much-improved performance after the Brisbane battering and the dummy that was spat in Wellington against the All Blacks.

They'd come back from 10-0 down to lead 18-13 before the converted try made sure the Boks left Sydney without another win.

7 July 2007: Australia 25-17 South Africa

This match took place against the backdrop of the Australian Rugby Union complaining about what they deemed to be the sub-standard quality of the Bok touring side.

Springbok coach Jake White opted to leave several leading Boks at home for the away leg, much to the disgust of the ARU and their New Zealand counterparts.

However, there was nothing sub-standard about the Boks taking a 17-0 lead through tries from Wikus van Heerden and Breyton Paulse, along with two conversions and a penalty from Derick Hougaard.

The Wallabies fought back to win, but this Gary Botha-led side provided several depth answers that proved crucial to the World Cup success later that year.

30 July 2011: Australia 39-20 South Africa

World Cup preparations were in full swing and Peter de Villiers, the Bok coach at the time, also fell into line with rotating his main Boks.

Again, the Boks were well beaten, with tries from Chilliboy Ralepelle and John Smit saving face for the tourists.

Australia had five of their own, and by winning in Durban like the class of 2000 did, they set themselves up for a clean sweep.

They completed that with the infamous 11-9 win in the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Wellington. 

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