Len Ikitau of the Wallabies scores a try during the Rugby Championship match against the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium. PictureL Darren England/AAP/via REUTERS
Len Ikitau of the Wallabies scores a try during the Rugby Championship match against the Springboks at Suncorp Stadium. PictureL Darren England/AAP/via REUTERS

Back to the drawing board as Wallabies out-muscle hapless Springboks

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Sep 18, 2021

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Australia 30

South Africa 17

CAPE TOWN - The Springboks slumped to another shocking Rugby Championship defeat against the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday.

In the build-up to the game, a big talking point from the Springbok camp was their discipline, an area that really cost them in their first Test against the Wallabies in Gold Coast. It followed them into this one early on, with silly errors costing the Boks.

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It turned out to be another poor defensive display from the South Africans as they missed 19 tackles. Last week, the tally was 21.

Their missed tackles and ill-discipline was a feature in the opening stages of the game, with scrumhalf Faf de Klerk being sent off in the opening quarter for a beyond silly cynical infringement in the Boks’ 22 right in front of the referee.

The hosts opted for a lineout after that, and a couple of missed tackles led to their opening try by Len Ikitau. Quade Cooper – who was in top form in their 28-26 victory over the Boks last week - pulled his conversion.

Pivot Handre Pollard got the Boks on the scoreboard towards the end of the opening quarter with a penalty conversion, but the Wallabies showed good variation in the Boks’ 22 again shortly afterwards, sending Ikitau over for his brace. Cooper hit his target this time, taking the score to 12-3 in the hosts’ favour.

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The Boks put three more points on the scoresheet around the half-hour mark, and the Bok errors crept in again when a kick and chase by winger Sbu Nkosi was undone by another mistake. Cooper hit right back with a penalty kick, before Pollard added a penalty after Lukhanyo Am was played in the air. The flyhalf added three more points to take the half-time score to 15-12 after Lachlan Swinton was yellow-carded for a shoulder charge on Duane Vermeulen.

The Boks looked good off their exit kicks and when they worked the ball through the hands, but there could be no doubt that they would have to do much better after the break. and the best moment in their game came early in the second half when De Klerk showed top vision and put a brilliant grubber through, which was neatly gathered and placed by Lukhanyo Am. Pollard missed the conversion, but the Boks took the lead for the first time in the match.

In the third quarter, Cooper regained the lead for the Wallabies with a penalty, and they took complete control from there on.

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Marika Koroibete humiliated the Bok defence on the blindside with a powerful run to their in-goal, with Cooper making no mistake with the extras to give the hosts a 25-17 lead with 17 minutes to go.

While the Boks did better in the second 40, Australia took it up a gear.

The Wallabies continued their dominance on the ground and put the Boks under real pressure there in the closing stages.

They got another boost from the ruck and attacked from a turnover, before finding space out wide for Koroibete to get his brace after a stunner of a pass from Cooper, who produced another composed performance in the driving seat. He missed the conversion, but the lead was commanding enough with just 10 minutes to go and secure their second victory over the Boks in as many weeks.

Point scorers:

Australia - Tries: Len Ikitau (2), Marika Koroibete (2) Conversions: Quade Cooper (2) Penalties: Cooper (2). Yelow card: Lachlan Swinton

South Africa - Tries: Lukhanyo Am Penalties: Pollard (4) Yellow card: Faf de Klerk, Jasper Wiese.

@WynonaLouw

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