Rugby Championship

Bok 'supersubs' were immense

2014-09-29 10:15
Pat Lambie (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - There's no doubt the Springbok "supersubs" did the trick to help turn the game in South Africa's favour against Australia at Newlands.

As it happened: SA v Australia

The Boks beat the Wallabies 28-10 after scoring three tries in the last 10 minutes of the Rugby Championship Test on Saturday.

The visitors led 10-8 in the 70th minute before a drop goal from substitute flyhalf Pat Lambie put the Boks ahead by one point, before a three-try blitzkrieg stunned the Wallabies.

And it was the Sharks pivot - who replaced Handre Pollard in the 59th minute - who was the most influential of the substitutions made by coach Heyneke Meyer.  

After an impressive performance against New Zealand two weeks ago, the young Pollard had an indifferent game. His kicking out of hand was erratic and he also had a kick charged down close to his own tryline which almost proved costly. Pollard still displayed great strength and resolve in carrying ball to advantage line, but the introduction of Lambie was vital in the final outcome of the game.

Initially, after missing sitter of a penalty kick in front of the posts in the 62nd minute, I thought Lambie would again miss the chance to stake a claim for the Bok No 10 jersey.

However, what followed in the next 18 or so minutes was simply sublime from Lambie. After his drop goal put South Africa in front, he scored a brilliant individual try and controlled the game well from a tactical point of view.

Flank Schalk Burger - who replaced Oupa Mohoje in the 55th minute - was equally impressive and shed the notion that playing in Japan is not adequate for the rigours of Test rugby.

Burger was omnipresent in all facets in his 25 minutes on the park. He carried the ball no less than 15 times and did so with sheer ferocity. It gave the Boks some much needed spark after they initially struggled break down a resolute Australian defence.

The physical presence added by Bismarck du Plessis in the final quarter of the match was also of immense value to the South African cause.

In fact, all eight substitutes used by Meyer - the others being Bakkies Botha, Marcel van der Merwe, JP Pietersen, Trevor Nyakane and Cobus Reinach - made impressive contributions.

Debutant scrumhalf Reinach, who only came on as late as the 77th minute, made an impact in his short time on the park as his impressive break down the grandstand touchline set up the final try scored by skipper Jean de Villiers.

These Springbok "supersubs" could prove to be just as vital against the All Blacks at Ellis Park this weekend...


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