Individual mistakes derailed the Springboks’ ambition of gaining a valuable away win at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, as the Wallabies defeated the visitors 23-18 in an error-strewn match.
The home side were trailing 18-17 at the halftime break in this round three match of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
Rassie Erasmus, SA Rugby’s Director of Rugby, afterwards bemoaned the many individual mistakes made by the Springboks.
“To gift 14 points on a platter to a team, you’re (always) going to struggle to win the game,” said Erasmus after the Wallabies took advantage of early Springbok mistakes to score two first half tries.
“I thought our mauling went very well compared to last weekend, the scrums were good in the first half, but then there were moments when we lost vital scrums and lineouts, so it was a mixed bag of different mistakes,” was Erasmus’ assessment of the match.
The stop-start nature of the match meant the Springboks were unable to build any real sustained period of dominance, although this time around, the South Africans made a more positive start to the game than in previous matches so far this year.
“We were awful in the second half and played better in the opening half,” stated the Springbok mentor.
The Springboks now travel to New Zealand on Sunday where they will take on the All Blacks in Wellington next Saturday in the second away match of their Australasian tour.
Erasmus admitted that facing the New Zealanders in their own backyard will be a daunting task: “We are playing the best team in the world, we’ve just lost two matches in a row so the pressure is on us.”
South Africa fought their way back after a fast Wallaby start to finish the first half with a one point lead at 18-17, following tries from hooker Bongi Mbonambi and speedster Makazole Mapimpi. Flyhalf Elton Jantjies added a conversion and two penalties.
The Australians ended a run of four losses with their Brisbane success to retain the Nelson Mandela Challenge Shield, while their win means South Africa have now suffered two losses in a row after losing to the Pumas two weeks ago in Mendoza.
Wallabies 23, Springboks 18
Australia – Tries: Michael Hooper, Matt Toomua; Conversions: Toomua (2); Penalties: Toomua (2), Reece Hodge.
South Africa – Tries: Bongi Mbonambi, Makazole Mapimpi; Conversion: Elton Jantjies; Penalties: Jantjies (2).