Saturday, 29 August 2009

Australia 25-32 South Africa

Australia (6) 25Tries: Giteau 2, Turner Con: Giteau 2 Pens: Giteau 2South Africa (22) 32Tries Du Preez, Fourie, Habana 2 Con: Steyn 3 Pens: Steyn 2

World champions South Africa maintained their grip on the Tri-Nations with an impressive win over Australia in Perth.
The Springboks closed in on this year's Tri-Nations title with a fourth straight victory.
Tries from Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana put South Africa well clear by half-time.
Australia improved after the break but Habana kept the Springboks clear with his second try, and tries from Matt Giteau and Lachie Turner came too late.
Scrum-half Du Preez set the tone by powering over from a tap-and-go on seven minutes and when centre Fourie waltzed through the Australian back-line to score another after quarter of an hour, the game appeared to be up.
Morne Steyn inexplicably missed the conversion from under the posts but soon slotted a penalty to make it 15-0, while opposite number Giteau wasted two penalty chances to cut the deficit before finally sending one over to make it 15-3 to the visitors.
Another Steyn penalty attempt drifted wide of the uprights but it mattered little as South Africa moved further clear thanks to the blistering pace of wing Habana, who pounced when Turner dropped a high ball and raced over the line.
Giteau just about kept home hopes alive with his second penalty of the day but as the teams trooped off for half-time, it looked as though the hosts were already involved in a damage limitation exercise.
However, coach Robbie Deans clearly got his message across to his men at the break and Australia came out firing on all cylinders, with Giteau battling over the line from short range after a good period of possession from the kick-off.
The Wallabies kept up the pressure in the early stages of the second half and appeared to be gaining an edge in the scrum, but their hard work was undone when a poor line-out inside their own 22 handed over possession and Habana struck once again.
It was a hammer blow for the Wallabies, who were starting to dominate in most areas but continually let South Africa off the hook with errors, and the visitors eased 19 points clear again with another Steyn penalty in the closing stages.
With the result beyond doubt, Giteau took his points tally for the day to 18 as he burst through the Springboks midfield for his second try, but his mixed fortunes were reflected in a failed attempt to make a quick drop-goal conversion from in front of the posts.
Australia finished very much on top but the match was beyond them and Turner's score in the dying seconds did nothing more than give the Wallabies encouragement that they can make amends next Saturday when they take on South Africa again in Brisbane.
Australia: J O'Connor; L Turner, R Cross, A Ashley-Cooper, P Hynes; M Giteau, L Burgess; B Robinson, S Moore, B Alexander, J Horwill, M Chisolm, R Elsom, G Smith (captain), R Brown.Replacements: T Polota-Nau, A Baxter, D Mumm, D Pocock, W Genia, Q Cooper, D Mitchell.
South Africa: R Pienaar; JP Pietersen, J Fourie, J de Villiers, B Habana; M Steyn, F du Preez; P Spies, J Smith, H Brussow, V Matfield, B Botha, J Smit (captain), B du Plessis, T Mtawarira.Replacements: C Ralepelle, J du Plessis, A Bekker, S Burger, R Januarie, A Jacobs, F Steyn.

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