The Qantas Wallabies have been unable to hold out South Africa at home in Cape Town with Australia going down to South Africa 28-10, despite a valiant effort from the men in gold who led at half time.
The Qantas Wallabies matched the Springboks for physicality but South Africa’s momentum in the later stages of the second half allowed the home team to score two tries to ensure the victory.
The Qantas Wallabies will now travel to Argentina for an important clash against the Pumas next week, in the last round of the 2014 Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.
The Qantas Wallabies defence was tested early with South Africa putting together 18 phases of attack against the men in gold, for no reward.
The Wallabies focus in the early stages of the game meant they were able to march well into South Africa’s defensive zone and in the seventh minute, flyhalf Bernard Foley was given the opportunity to convert a penalty from the sideline. The kick just missed the left post leaving the scores locked at 0-0.
South Africa tested the Wallabies lineout and were able to reap reward from their territory with a try to Marcell Coetzee off the back of a South African rolling maul to give the home team a 5-0 advantage in the 13th minute.
The men in gold continued to repel South Africa and despite less possession were able to make metres off limited attacking opportunities.
A South African mistake in the middle of the field created an attacking opportunity for the Wallabies as Joe Tomane sped off towards the try line, only to be caught with metres to spare by the scrambling South African defence.
The Qantas Wallabies continued to attack the line and an off the ball tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper allowed Bernard Foley to kick his first penalty of the match, taking the score to 5-3 in favour of South Africa.
Australia’s backs had finally had some taste of open space and were hungry for more, as some great passing between Matt Toomua and Tevita Kuridrani allowed Adam Ashley-Cooper to run over 40 metres to score the Wallabies first try of the match.
Bernard Foley converted the try from the corner allowing Australia to take the lead 5-10.
Off the back of the Wallabies attacking raids, Australia started to build more pressure on the South African defence as they worked their way into the first half with an impressive defensive effort.
The Wallabies pounded the Springboks line for several phases at the 30th minute of the match and were unlucky not to cross for a second try when Matt Toomua kicked through for winger, Joe Tomane.
South Africa countered by using its dominant forward pack to exert pressure on Australia at the breakdown and with three minutes to go the Wallabies had to survive a South African line-out in the exact spot of South Africa’s first try.
Some quick thinking from lock, Scott Fardy allowed Australia to clear the immediate danger, but the Springboks, cheered on by a passionate home crowd continued to attack the Wallabies line as the clock counted down to half time.
Australia’s defence held resolute and was able to hold their lead over South Africa of 10-5 at half time.
The Wallabies fired out of the blocks in the second half with a charge down from Michael Hooper on South African flyhalf Handre Pollard almost led to a Wallabies try through Bernard Foley.
Australia began to exert some dominance on South Africa as they patiently built up 22 phases of possession as they attacked within South Africa’s half.
The desperate defence from the Springboks allowed South Africa to get out of the immediate danger leaving the score at 8-10 in favour of Australia.
In the 63rd minute replacement Springbok back, Patrick Lambie had the opportunity to give the home nation the lead with a penalty in front of the posts, but the kick went wide allowing Australia to hold 8-10.
South Africa put together 30 phases with just over ten minutes to play but were unable to breach the Qantas Wallabies try line defence, forcing Patrick Lambie to go for the drop goal putting South Africa in the lead 11-10.
With the drop goal South Africa were able ride the momentum of the home crowd as Springbok’s captain, Jean de Villiers crossed in the corner for a crucial try.
The conversion was missed from the corner meaning that South Africa lead 16-10 with the stage set for an epic finish at Newlands.
Australia put together some attacking efforts against South Africa but the weight of South Africa’s dominance in the second half brought two late tries to the home nation that ultimately sealed the Wallabies fate, meaning Australia went down 28-10.
The Qantas Wallabies now head to Argentina for the next leg of the Castrol EDGE Rugby Championship.
South Africa 28 tries; Marcell Coetzee, Patrick Lambie, Jean de Villiers (2) cons Patrick Lambie; pens; Handre Pollard drop goal; Patrick Lambie defeated Australia 10 tries; Adam Ashley-Cooper cons; Bernard Foley pens; Bernard Foley