Australia 26 - 19 South Africa: Aussies spring back against the Springboks
AUSTRALIA got their Rugby Championship campaign back on track with a scrappy victory over South Africa in Perth, coming back from a first-half deficit to register a fifth successive win over the Springboks.
Back-to-back losses to the All Blacks in their first two matches of the inaugural competition had made this a must-win Test for the Wallabies and their coach Robbie Deans.
After a poor first half where they fell behind to Springbok winger Bryan Habana’s 42nd Test try, scores from forwards Scott Higginbotham and Ben Alexander and a perfect kicking display from Berrick Barnes just about got them across the line.
South Africa, who drew 16-16 with Argentina in their last outing, were still knocking at the door looking for a converted try to tie the match as time ran out but will rue a lack of a spark in their backline.
“We went into the second half and felt that we hadn’t played as much as we would have liked to,” Australia captain Will Genia, on crutches after injuring his knee, said. “So we came out with a lot more enthusiasm and energy. We have a lot of pride in what we do. We know we’re a good side and [we’re] just happy to get a good win against a quality opposition.”
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers was disappointed that his young team were unable to come away with a victory in Perth, where they again enjoyed good support from the large South Africa community.
“It was probably one we should have won but credit must go to Australia for coming back when they were down at half time,” he said. “We have to learn from this and if we’re in that situation again, we can capitalise and get a win.”
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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