Australia's Olympic dream over

Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

Australia’s Gold medal dreams are over following a 22-5 defeat to South Africa in the quarter-final.

Andy Friend’s side beat South Africa 12-5 earlier on day two but couldn’t repeat the performance in their last eight clash.

An early penalty to Australia gave them possession but they couldn’t get out of their own half as South Africa pounced on a Tom Cusack breakdown.

Australia continued to struggle in possession and it didn’t take Rosco Specman long before he struck, with the speedster racing through to score.

South Africa were offside at the restart but their pace troubled Australia, as they couldn’t retain the ball at the breakdown.

It wasn’t long before South Africa were in again, this time through Seabolo Senatla after he received the ball out wide to dot down. 

Australia got it going shortly after with Cusack and Allan Fa’alava’au combining to break down the left edge and Cusack barging over to make it 10-5.

Cam Clark couldn’t reduce the margin to three with his conversion hitting the post at a wet and windy Deodoro Stadium.

Australia trailing at half-time but a superb restart after the break put South Africa under pressure early in the second stanza. 

Con Foley forcing the turnover as Australia went on the attack but a knock on from captain Ed Jenkins out wide allowed South Africa to kick the ball downfield. 

A turnover deep into Australia’s territory gave South Africa a crack at the line but Juan de Jongh knocked on as he attempted to ground the ball.

Australia tried to exit but a poor kick for touch from Tom Kingston gave South Africa a lineout and Kyle Brown forced the ball down.

Back-to-back penalties gave Australia the chance to move into South Africa’s half but they spilt the ball out wide.

South Africa pounced and kicked the ball forward but Jesse Parahi couldn’t ground the ball in goal, allowing Senatla to get a double and push the margin to 22-5.

South Africa will now face Great Britain in the semi-final after they beat Argentina while Fiji will take on Japan in the other semi.

Australia will take on Argentina in the 5-8 place playoff at 3am AEST Friday.

South Africa 22 (Tries: Specman, Senatla 2, Brown Cons: Afrika)

Australia 5 (Tries: Cusack)

Olympic semi-final draw

Fiji v Japan (3.30am AEST)

Great Britain v South Africa (4am AEST)