Rugby Championship: Impressive Wallabies continue unbeaten run against Springboks in Australia

·4-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

The Wallabies continued their impressive record against the Springboks in Australia when they sealed a 25-17 triumph in Adelaide on Saturday.

The home side were deserved winners as they dominated for long periods and eventually outscored the Boks by three tries to two with Fraser McReight leading the way with a brace, while Marika Koroibete also crossed the whitewash.

Their other points came via the boot of Noah Lolesio, who finished with a 10-point haul after succeeding with two conversions and as many penalties.

For South Africa, Kwagga Smith scored two tries while Handre Pollard slotted a penalty with Elton Jantjies and Jaden Hendrikse adding a conversion apiece.

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The result means the home side stretch their unbeaten record in Australia against the Springboks to eight matches.

Australia made a terrific start and shortly after the kick-off they found themselves on the attack deep inside South Africa’s 22 thanks to a strong carry down the right-hand touchline from Rob Valetini. After he was brought to ground the ball was recycled quickly and Folau Fainga’a did well to take the ball into contact before he was stopped close to the try-line. McReight then ran onto a pass from Nic White before diving over for an opening try.

Five minutes later, the visitors strayed offside on defence and Lolesio gave the Wallabies a 10-0 lead when he slotted the resulting penalty. South Africa were struggling to get a foothold in the game and had two opportunities to open their account courtesy of penalty attempts from Pollard during the opening quarter but both shots at goal were off target.

He eventually succeeded with one in the 24th minute after White was blown up for obstruction and with points on the board were slowly gaining the upper hand. They spent most of the second quarter camped inside the Wallabies’ half but, despite dominating during the rest of the half, they failed to capitalise on that dominance.

On the half-hour mark, the Springboks played quickly from a penalty close to Australia’s try-line and Ox Nche crossed the whitewash but was held up by the Wallabies defence. Tom Wright was the tackler but his efforts saw him being yellow carded as he did not retreat the 10 metres after the Boks took the tap penalty.

Just before the break Makazole Mapimpi found himself in space out wide deep inside the Wallabies’ 22 but he was stopped in his tracks close to the try-line by a magnificent cover tackle from Koroibete.

Mapimpi knocked on in the process and from the resulting scrum Faf de Klerk was yellow carded for a swinging arm to White’s face and the Wallabies went into the sheds holding a 10-3 lead at half-time.

Wallabies kick on in second half

Six minutes after the restart, Koroibete gathered a pass from Lolesio deep inside the Boks’ 22 and bamboozled Pollard with quick feet before showing a superb turn of speed on his way over the try-line.

Although Lolesio failed with the conversion attempt, that score reinvigorated the home side and in the 56th minute they extended their lead when McReight crossed for his second try. This, after Lolesio gathered an inside pass from James Slipper on the Boks’ 10-metre line and soon found himself inside their 22 after a superb line break. He was hauled in by the cover defence but did well to offload to McReight, who had an easy run-in over the try-line.

The Boks seemed shellshocked but had little to offer in response. In the 64th minute they conceded a breakdown penalty and Lolesio made no mistake from the kicking tee to give his side a deserved 25-3 lead.

With the game in the bag, the Wallabies took their foot off the pedal and in the 74th minute Smith scored his first try after Steven Kitshoff and Vincent Koch laid the groundwork with some deft offloads in the build-up. And just before the final whistle, Smith crossed from close quarters after he ran onto a pass from Hendrikse, who played quickly from a penalty.

That try added some respectability to the score but the Boks will be hugely disappointed with the end result, leaving their Rugby Championship chances in the balance.

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