South Africa secure biggest win on Australian soil
Leinster recruit Zane Kirchner among try scorers in Brisbane rout
Australia’s Adam Ashley-Cooper is stopped in his tracks during the Rugby Championship game against South Africa in Brisbane. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images
Australia 12 South Africa 38: South Africa secured their biggest win on Australian soil and their first in five attempts when they smashed the hosts 38-12 in the Rugby Championship in Brisbane on Saturday.
Prop Coenie Oosthuizen put the visitors in front after six minutes and their advantage was extended with late tries from captain Jean de Villiers, Zane Kirchner and Willie le Roux.
The win in front of 43,715 spectators at Lang Park was the Springboks’ first victory at the venue in eight attempts.
It put South Africa on top of the Rugby Championship with three wins ahead of a meeting with New Zealand, who are also unbeaten, at Eden Park next Saturday.
The talk leading into the game surrounded Australias exciting backline but it was the Springboks who ran amok, especially in the last quarter.
Conversely, Australia failed to score a try against South Africa for the first time since 2001 as the Springboks bettered their previous record win in Australia, a 12-point victory in 1971.
Oosthuizen gave South Africa the perfect start in the sixth minute. After Nick Cummins failed to keep Morne Steyn’s long kick in play, South Africa won their lineout and Oosthuizen, on the field as a blood-bin replacement, brushed aside Scott Fardy and Quade Cooper to score.
Cummins looked like he could make amends for his earlier error when a line-break sent him bearing down on the South African try-line, but he slipped over just inside the 22 with one man to beat.
Three penalty kicks from Steyn and two from Christian Leali’ifano followed as the Springboks extended their lead to 16-6 at half-time, although it could have been worse for the Wallabies had Quade Cooper not produced a fine tackle to stop le Roux in the right corner three minutes before the interval.
On the hour mark, wing Bryan Habana’s fine run and chip forward into the 22 led to an easy chance for former Munster star De Villiers to run in a try.
Four minutes later, a superb pass inside on the right wing from Le Roux set free new Leinster recruit Kirchner to extend the lead six minutes later.
Then loose play from Quade Cooper gifted the Springboks a turnover in midfield and Duane Vermeulen fed Le Roux who raced over for a try of his own 10 minutes from time.
In a match that threatened to boil over on several occasions each side had a man sin-binned, Willem Alberts for a deliberate knock-on in the first half and Michael Hooper after a dangerous tackle on Habana after the interval.