Wallabies carve Boks open in bonus-point win

The Wallabies scored two tries in each half to hand the Springboks their second straight defeat and earn a bonus-point victory in Brisbane on Saturday.

With the result, the Wallabies closed the gap on the Springboks to just one point on the Rugby Championship table.

South Africa, the defending champions, could find themselves 10 points behind table-toppers New Zealand by the end of the round, depending on whether the All Blacks get a bonus point in their match against Argentina.

Matchflow: The first 20 minutes of this match couldn’t have gone worse for the Springboks, or better for the Wallabies. Much as in the first Test between the two teams last Sunday, Jacques Nienaber’s team was terrible, both in terms of their discipline and defence.

As if to compound their problems, Faf de Klerk was yellow-carded for a needless foul in the 13th minute. During that period, the Wallabies feasted, with Len Ikitau scoring a brace of tries in between a Handre Pollard penalty to give the hosts a 12-3 lead.

The Springboks did grow into the match, as Damian de Allende got on the ball and they caused Marika Koroibete problems under the high ball. Pollard kept up a good performance off the kicking tee with another three penalties to bring the Boks to within three points of the lead at the break.

The warning signs were there, though, as the Springboks had missed 12 tackles by half time. It seemed as though the Springboks had a stern word about this during the break as they came out firing in the second half. De Klerk atoned for his earlier error with a wonderfully weighted grubber, which was chased down by Lukhanyo Am, as the outside centre grounded it for a try.

However, the game fell apart for the Boks from there. Another set of poor defensive and attacking errors allowed Quade Cooper to slot a penalty and put the Wallabies back ahead. Australia then landed the decisive blow as Taniela Tupou showed wonderful hands to put Koroibete in for his first try, before the wing then crossed for his second minutes later to give the hosts a 13-point lead with 10 minutes to play.

The Boks did attempt to claw their way back into the match, but the Australians defended brilliantly, with Samu Kerevi and Michael Hooper – in his record appearance as captain – both making turnovers.

Photo: Getty Images

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Dylan Jack