ANZ Stadium, Sydney
The Qantas Wallabies have opened their Castrol Edge Tri Nations campaign in style crossing for five tries to two and running out 39-20 winners over the Springboks at ANZ Stadium this evening in front of a vocal crowd of 52,788.
The Qantas Wallabies led from start to finish thanks to two first half tries by Ben Alexander and Digby Ioane, the Springboks stayed in touch going into the half time break with two penalty goals to Morne Steyn but still trailed the Qantas Wallabies 15-6.
It was the Qantas Wallabies who opened the scoring in the second half second half when Quade Cooper cut a hole through the Springboks defence and offloaded to James O’Connor who crossed in the corner then converted from out wide.
Qantas Wallabies Stephen Moore was next to cross just five minutes later and after putting the ball down next to the posts O’Connor had no issues slotting another conversion to stretch the Qantas Wallabies lead to 23 points.
In the 52nd minute the Qantas Wallabies went further ahead when O’Connor slotted a penalty goal, which was followed three minutes later by an Adam Ashley-Cooper try and another O’Connor conversion.
The Springboks hit back twice before the final siren with Chiliboy Ralepelle crossing in the 59th minute and John Smit in the 76th minute, Pat Lambie converted both tries to bring the deficit back to 19 points.
The Springboks pushed hard in the final few minutes but couldn’t make their hard work count and when the final siren went it was the Qantas Wallabies celebrating the retention of the Mandela Plate and their first win of the Castrol Edge Tri Nations 39-20.
Qantas Wallabies 39: Tries to Ben Alexander, Digby Ioane, James O’Connor, Stephen Moore, Adam Ashley-Cooper. Conversions: James O’Connor (4/5). Pen Goal: James O’Connor (2/2)
South Africa 20: Tries to Chiliboy Ralepelle and John Smit. Conversions: Pat Lambie (2/2). Pen Goal: Morne Steyn (2/2).
1st: Penalty to Australia – kick to touch
2nd: Australia knocks on, scrum to South Africa
4th: Australia knocks on, scrum to South Africa
6th: South Africa knocks on, scrum to Australia
7th: Penalty to South Africa, quick tap
8th: Try to Australia – Ben Alexander
10th: Conversion to Australia – James O’Connor
11th: Try to Australia – Digby Ioane
12th: Conversion by Australia, unsuccessful
14th: Australia knocks on, scrum to South Africa
16th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch
17th: Australia knocks on, scrum to South Africa
19th: Penalty to South Africa, kick to touch
21st: South Africa knock on, scrum to Australia
25th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch
26th: Scrum to Australia
27th: Penalty to South Africa, quick tap
29th: Penalty to South Africa, shot at goal
30th: Penalty Goal to South Africa, Morne Steyn
34th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch
35th: Forward pass by Australia, scrum to South Africa
35th: Penalty to Australia, kick at goal
37th: Penalty Goal to Australia, James O’Connor
39th: Australia knocks on, scrum to South Africa
40th: Penalty to South Africa, kick to touch
41st: Penalty to South Africa, kick at goal
41st: Penalty Goal to South Africa, Morne Steyn
Half Time: Qantas Wallabies 15 – Springboks 6.
41st: South Africa knocks on, scrum to Australia
43rd: Try to Australia, James O’Connor
45th: Conversion by Australia, James O’Connor
46th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch
47th: Penalty to Australia, kick to touch
48th: Try to Australia, Stephen Moore
48th: Conversion to Australia, James O’Connor
49th: Australia knock on, scrum to South Africa
51st: Penalty to Australia, kick at goal
52nd: Penalty Goal to Australia, James O’Connor
52nd: Springboks Ashley Johnson replaced by Jean Deysel
52nd: Springboks knock on, Australia Scrum
55th: Try to Australia, Adam Ashley-Cooper
56th: Qantas Wallabies, James Horwill replaced by Nathan Sharpe
56th: Springboks, Morne Steyn replaced by Pat Lambie
56th: Qantas Wallabies, Rocky Elsom replaced by Scott Higginbotham
56th: Springboks, Werner Kruger replaced by CJ van der Linde
57th: Conversion by Australia, James O’Connor
59th: Try to South Africa, Chiliboy Ralepelle
60th: Conversion by South Africa, Pat Lambie
60th: Qantas Wallabies, Stephen Moore replaced by Saia Faingaa
62nd: Penalty to South Africa, kick to touch
64th: Qantas Wallabies, Adam Ashley-Cooper replaced by Anthony Faingaa
65th: Qantas Wallabies, Will Genia replaced by Nick Phipps
65th: Qantas Wallabies, David Pocock replaced by Matt Hodgson
66th: Penalty to South Africa, kick to touch
67th: Springboks, Wynand Olivier replaced by Adrian Jacobs
69th: Australia knock on, scrum to South Africa
70th: Australia knock on, scrum to South Africa
71st: South Africa knock on, scrum to Australia
71st: Qantas Wallabies, Kurtley Beale replaced by Pek Cowan
73rd: Penalty to South Africa, kick to touch
75th: Penalty to South Africa, kick to touch
76th: Try to South Africa, John Smit
77th: Conversion by South Africa, Pat Lambie
79th: Australia knock on, scrum to South Africa
80th: Penalty to South Africa, quick tap
80th: Final Score Qantas Wallabies 39 – Springboks 20
Date: Saturday, July 23 Kick Off: 8pm Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Referee: Chris Pollock
Getting to the Game: Transport information Follow on Twitter: #AUSvRSA Match eProgram
Qantas Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has made seven changes to his starting XV for Saturday nights Castrol Edge Tri Nations opener against South Africa in Sydney.
Australia will field nine of the players who started in last year’s history-making win over South Africa at Bloemfontein, with Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Will Genia and Quade Cooper among the incoming players for the ANZ Stadium clash.
The last time the two sides met, the Wallabies beat the Springboks 41-39 at Bloemfontein to secure Australia’s first win on the high veldt in the Republic for 47 years. The epic win, which was achieved by a penalty goal from Beale after the final siren, also secured for Australia the Mandela Challenge Plate.
Also returning for the Australians, who last week were out-muscled by their Samoan opponents, is Western Force flanker David Pocock. Pocock will re-link with Rocky Elsom and Ben McCalman in the backrow, while Queensland pair James Horwill and Rob Simmons will be back together in the second row forcing veteran Nathan Sharpe to the bench.
After coming up short last Sunday against the physical Samoans, Deans says his men know they must raise the bar “significantly” on their collective performance.
“Last weekend, our standards were inadequate for what is required at Test level and we paid the price for that,” Deans said.
“There are no short cuts in Test rugby. There is no substitute for rolling up the sleeves and doing the little tasks that, while they might not carry the glamour, are critical for the overall success of the team.
“Last Sunday was a massive wake up call for the group. We can’t turn back the clock on that performance, it will stay with us as a reminder, but we do have total control as to how we respond.
“That is the challenge that we have ahead of us.”
The Australians, however, will face an equally as physical and sizeable side in the Springboks this weekend, after controversial coach Peter de Villiers announced a South African starting XV boasting over 300 combined Test caps.
Hooker John Smit will again lead the side around the paddock, starting alongside two of the four uncapped members of the match day 22 in props Dean Greyling and Werner Kruger.
Both from the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, the two book-ends will pack down for their first taste of Test Rugby alongside the inspirational Smit who will this weekend play his 103rd Test.
The Cheetahs Ashley Johnson will also earn his first Test cap after being named at No.8 following a breakthrough season in the backrow for the Bloemfontein-based franchise. Johnson’s mobility, physicality and enthusiastic approach are set to excite the travelling African fans when the big man comes head-to-head with the similarly-styled Ben McCalman for Australia.
Uncapped halfback Charl McLeod is also set to make his debut after being named as back-up for the versatile Ruan Pienaar, who will start in the No.9 jersey following a successful season with Irish side Ulster.
Springbok coach de Villiers saw the opportunity to award those who had performed in Super Rugby already this season.
“The new caps had outstanding Super Rugby seasons and this is an exciting opportunity for them,” said De Villiers.
“They have been rewarded for their form and now it’s up to them.
“We have got some new combinations, but there is a lot of potential in this side and the players are hungry for this chance.”
Australia v South Africa @ ANZ Stadium, Sydney – Historical Notes
• This will be the 75th meeting between Australia and South Africa at all venues. Australia has won 29 and South Africa 44, while the 2001 match in Perth was drawn 14-14.
• Prior to South Africa’s readmission to international sport in 1992, Australia had won just seven of the 31 matches played.
• The scoreboard stands at 22 wins to 20 in Australia’s favour, along with a draw, for the period since then.
• South Africa’s most recent win on Australian soil was a 32-25 success at Perth in 2009. That win was one of three South Africa has achieved from 19 matches in this country through the Tri Nations era, which kicked off in 1996. All three of those wins were claimed in Western Australia.
• This will be the 30th Test played by Australia in Homebush Bay, winning 21 of them for a 72% winning ratio.
• Crowds of over 100,000 attended the first two Bledisloe Cup Tests at the venue in 1999 and 2000.
• South Africa has only appeared four times at the Olympic Stadium, debuting 11 years ago. Australia has won all four Tests between the sides at the ground and has won the last six in the city against the Springboks since they were readmitted to international rugby in 1992, after South Africa prevailed 19-12 on its return to Sydney in 1993.
• While South Africa didn’t win the 2006 Test between the two nations at the Olympic Stadium, the two-point margin of defeat still represented a remarkable turnaround after the Springboks had been flogged 49-0 by the same Australian side in Brisbane a week earlier.
• Last year’s 30-13 win over South Africa in Brisbane represented just the second time in the last 11 seasons that Australia had opened the Tri Nations with a win.
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