Rugby Championship

Springboks outclass Wallabies

2012-09-29 18:51
Bryan Habana (AP)

Pretoria -  South Africa changed the emphasis from kicking to running with the ball and scored five tries to crush Australia 31-8 at Loftus Versfeld Saturday in the Rugby Championship.

Veteran right wing Bryan Habana ran in three and there was one each for fullback Zane Kirchner and flank Francois Louw as the Springboks ended a run of five losses against the Wallabies after leading 14-3 at the break.

The bonus-point triumph before a near-capacity crowd at the 50 000-seat Loftus Versfeld stadium lifted South Africa to 12 points, four behind New Zealand and four ahead of Australia in the southern hemisphere competition.

Scrum-half Ruan Pienaar, who took over the placing kicking duties after new flyhalf Johan Goosen missed two early shots at goal, completed the scoring with three conversions.

Poor place kicking was the one disappointment as the Springboks got back on the winning trail after a three-match winless run as Pienaar failed with four penalty attempts.

Australia have been plagued by injuries throughout the Championship and it only got worse at Loftus with numerous casualties, including centre Adam Ashley-Cooper, who was taken to hospital with concussion before the break.

The visitors had to play the last eight minutes a man short after making all seven replacements and were also reduced to 14 men early in the second half when replacement prop James Slipper was sin binned.

Kurtley Beale, making his first start at flyhalf for the Wallabies, kicked a first half penalty and replacement back Mike Harris went over in the corner for a try after the Springboks had built a 23-point advantage.

But razor-sharp Habana had the final say, rounding off another good handling movement in the final minute to raise his career total to 46 tries against demoralised opponents.

Teams:

South Africa:
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Francois Steyn/Jaco Taute, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Marcell Coetzee, 20 Elton Jantjies, 21 Jaco Taute/Juan de Jongh, 22 Patrick Lambie

Australia:

15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Dominic Shipperley, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Pat McCabe, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 Kurtley Beale, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Radike Samo, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dave Dennis, 5 Nathan Sharpe (captain), 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Tatafu Polota Nau, 1 Benn Robinson

Substitutes: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Rob Simmons, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Brett Sheehan, 22 Anthony Fainga'a

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