Habana shines for South Africa


South Africa 31 Australia 8:BRYAN HABANA scored a hat-trick of tries to lead South Africa to an impressive victory over Australia in Pretoria on Saturday in the latest round of the Rugby Championship.

Habana, South Africa’s record try scorer, touched down in the 28th, 60th and 78th minutes while Zane Kirchner and Francois Louw also crossed as the Springboks maintained their 100 per cent record against Australia at Loftus Versfeld with a sixth win out of six.

The remainder of the home side’s points came from the boot of scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar, who converted three of the five tries, as South Africa earned a second victory in five matches to lift them into second place on 12 points.

Australia, whose points came from an unconverted second-half try from Mike Harris and a Kurtley Beale penalty, are third in the standings on eight points after slumping to their third loss.

The Wallabies were badly hit by injuries, though, and used all seven substitutes during the match before playing the final nine minutes with just 14 men.

SOUTH AFRICA: Z Kirchner; B Habana, J Taute, J de Villiers, F Hougaard; J Goosen, R Pienaar; T Mtawarira, A Strauss, J du Plessis; E Etzebeth, A Bekker; F Louw, W Alberts, D Vermeulen. Replacements: T Liebenberg, P Cilliers, F van der Merwe, M Coetzee, E Jantjies, J de Jongh, P Lambie.

AUSTRALIA: B Barnes; D Shipperley, A Ashley-Cooper, P McCabe, D Ioane; K Beale, N Phipps; B Robinson, T Polota-Nau, B Alexander; K Douglas, N Sharpe; D Dennis, M Hooper, N Samo. Replacements: S Faingaa, J Slipper, R Simmons, L Gill, B Sheehan, A Faingaa, M Harris.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).

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