Australia defeated South Africa 23-17 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday after the South Africans failed to capitalise on a good start in the first half. Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said afterwards he was not pleased with his team’s discipline. The two teams scored two tries apiece but the boot of Bernard Foley ultimately proved the difference between the sides.
The Springboks started the match impressively by scoring two tries through Warren Whiteley (number eight) and Johan Goosen (fullback) for an early 14-3 lead inside the opening 20 minutes of the first half. However, the visitors then conceded a few penalties, which allowed the Aussies to claw their way back into the match. The Boks led 14-13 at half-time, where an earlier downpour led to slippery conditions.
Although disappointed with the outcome of the match, Coetzee did point towards several positives afterwards: ‘Our set-piece functioned well tonight, especially on our own scrum ball and our lineouts. We were physical and dominated the collision exchanges, created enough scoring opportunities but lost the ball in contact at times when we needed to go through one or two more phases. We also tried to play a bit too much in our own half. They got territory from it and managed to put us under pressure.’ Apart from the good set-piece effort, Coetzee was again happy with the impact from the bench which, included six forwards: ‘The replacements made a big impact when they came on. The effort is still good and I am happy with the attitude of the players, but it is hard lessons we are learning as a team.’
After the match, three Springboks players, lock Lood De Jager, scrumhalf Faf De Klerk and fullback Johan Goosen all went for scans after suffering niggles during the match. They will be evaluated again on Sunday morning. The Springboks travel to Christchurch on Sunday, where they will play against the All Blacks next Saturday evening.
Australia: Tries – Adam Coleman, Bernard Foley. Conversions: Bernard Foley (2). Penalties: Foley (3).
South Africa – Tries: Warren Whiteley, Johan Goosen. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty: Morne Steyn.