Wallabies run South Africa ragged to land back-to-back victories

World champions blown away in Brisbane as Australia boost Rugby Championship hopes

Len Ikitau celebrates during the Wallabies second win over the Springboks in two weekends. Photograph: Darren England/EPA

Len Ikitau celebrates during the Wallabies second win over the Springboks in two weekends. Photograph: Darren England/EPA

 

Australia 30 South Africa 17

Australia breathed life into their Rugby Championship campaign with a bonus-point 30-17 win over South Africa on Saturday to puncture the world champions’ aura for the second time in a week.

Having upset the Springboks 28-26 on the Gold Coast on Sunday with a Quade Cooper penalty after the siren, the Wallabies’ running game shone in the Lang Park twilight as centre Len Ikitau and winger Marika Koroibete each scored two tries.

Koroibete’s second put the Australians 13 points up with 12 minutes left and they defended brilliantly to win two turnovers in front of their posts to protect the lead to the finish.

South Africa managed one try, through centre Lukhanyo Am shortly after halftime, but drew two yellow cards in a flat performance before they head into back-to-back tests against New Zealand.

“We talked a lot about going back-to-back here,” said Australia captain Michael Hooper.

“We absolutely love playing up here in front of the crowd... Couldn’t be happier right now.”

Australia move up to third in the world rankings ahead of back-to-back tests against Argentina, but South Africa could lose their world number one spot if the Pumas lose to New Zealand by more than 15 points in the late match of the double-header on Saturday.

The Wallabies secured the Nelson Mandela plate after beating South Africa again in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/EPA
The Wallabies secured the Nelson Mandela plate after beating South Africa again in Brisbane. Photograph: Darren England/EPA

In a scrappy start, South Africa scrumhalf Faf de Klerk was yellow carded for slowing the ball in a ruck in the 13th minute and Ikitau was quick to capitalise with Australia’s first try a minute later.

Scrumhalf Nic White shot a cut-out pass to a charging Ikitau, who beat two defenders in a 10-metre burst to the line.

Barnstorming prop Taniela Tupou then crashed through the South African line, paving the way for a Marika Koroibete off-load that set up Ikitau’s second try at the right corner seven minutes later.

De Klerk’s return from his 10 minutes in the sin-bin rejuvenated the South Africans as his pinpoint box kicks pressured the hosts.

Wallabies fullback Tom Banks came off clutching his forearm in the 28th minute and his team mate flanker Lachie Swinton came off with a yellow card seven minutes from halftime after a high tackle on number eight Duane Vermeulen.

Pollard slotted a fourth penalty after Australia were caught offside to trim the lead to 15-12 at halftime.

With Swinton still off the pitch, a De Klerk grubber kick at the right corner allowed Am to touch down and snatch the lead less than two minutes after the restart.

Cooper swiped the advantage back for Australia with his second penalty before Koroibete took control of the game with a two-try burst in six-minutes.

Taking an audacious look-away flick pass from Tupou, Koroibete thundered down the left wing for the first of his tries in the 62nd minute.

A Reece Hodge turnover followed by a Samu Kerevi off-load to Pete Samu ended in a brilliant counter-attacking try to Koroibete on the same left wing.

Cooper missed the second conversion but Australia defended solidly to protect the 13-point lead, repelling waves of attacks in their 22 to complete a confidence-building win.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.