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Wallabies down Springboks in close match

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Saturday night’s tri-nation game between South Africa and Australia in Perth ended up as a tough defensive tussle with the home team winning 16 points to 9. The Wallabies proved that they are probably the toughest defensive line to penetrate in international rugby. Much of the game saw South Africa having a go from every position on the field to find some points but the Wallaby defense was just unbreakable and the Springboks failed to cross the line for a try. The South African’s also made too many errors in their attack, which is never going to be good enough to crack that Australian defense.

The South Africans also showcased their scrambling cover defense, which was often tested by Australia’s strong midfield attack led by Matt Giteau. With both teams so determined in their defense, it was always likely that whoever managed to cross the try-line first would be able to hold on and take the match. That is exactly how it ended up with the first try in the game scored by Wallaby winger Lote Tuqiri. After some impressive runs from George Smith and Peter Hynes into the Boks’s 22, a quick succession of passes saw Tuqiri cross the line in the corner.

The rest of the game was an ebb and flow of each team enjoying periods of sustained attack only to be held out by the opposite team’s equally impressive defense. Penalties and drop-goal attempts were traded until 5 minutes into the second half the Wallabies scored again with captain Stirling Mortlock bull-dozing his way through the Springbok line. From then on it looked like the South Africans had to come up with something special to win the game, a task that eluded them, but not for lack of trying. The Springbok loose forwards always looked menacing with ball in hand and halves Ricky Januarie and Butch James kept trying to unleash their speedster wingers Habana and Pieterson but were unsuccessful with Pieterson plagued by handling errors and Habana constantly shut down by a desperate Wallaby defender.

In the end the Wallabies emerged deserved victors with a 2 try to nil win. 

Final Score:

Wallabies 16 (Lote Tuqiri, Stirling Mortlock – tries; Matt Giteau – penalty; Berrick Barnes – drop goal)

Springboks 9 (Francois Steyn 2, Butch James – penalties) 

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Written by Dale Weber

Tuesday, 22 July, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Rugby

Tagged with , ,

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