Wallabies implode again at altitude

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    The Wallabies have failed again at altitude in South Africa, throwing away a blistering start to the Tri-Nations Test in Pretoria to go down to the Springboks 44-31.

    Australia had scored three tries within the opening 10 minutes to lead 21-7 and led 28-24 at the break after seven five-pointers were scored in a madcap opening 40 minutes few had expected.

    But the Wallabies continually cruelled their second half opportunities with poor handling and lineout work, allowing the desperate Springboks to notch their first win of the series in Victor Matfield’s 100th Test in front of 43,152 at his home ground of Loftus Versfeld.

    The result means Australia are yet to win in Pretoria after five Tests and they haven’t won on the South African highveld since 1963.

    The Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate and second place behind New Zealand in the Tri-Nations will now depend on the result of next weekend’s Test in Bloemfontein.

    “We didn’t hold onto the ball so we didn’t spend long enough in possession, we turned over more ball than South Africa did, that was a big part of it,” Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said.

    “And obviously critically at the end, when we had built some pressure and had opportunities, our set piece came up short, and our finishing wasn’t as effective.”

    South Africa scored five tries to four, with Australia’s all coming in the first half.

    The Loftus crowd were silenced when Will Genia dummied and scored in just the third minute and James O’Connor bagged the first of a double after after a scintillating 60m run by Kurtley Beale in the fifth.

    Springboks flanker Juan Smith powered through some threadbare defence in the ninth minute but O’Connor was there to pounce when Bryan Habana dropped the kick-off and Australia led 21-7.

    The Boks narrowed the lead to seven when prop Gurthro Steenkamp burrowed over in the 14th minute and an altitude-powered 59m penalty goal from Morne Steyn made it 21-17 after 20 minutes.

    The Wallabies’ determination to spread the ball paid off again, though, six minutes later with a Dean Mumm five-pointer and it was 28-17 before Springboks No.8 Pierre Spies completed the first half madness with a 32nd minute try.

    But the Wallabies began imploding after the break with a succession of errors.

    Steyn and Matt Giteau exchanged penalty goals in the 47th and 49th minutes before the Springboks took the lead – 34-31- for the first time in the match through a Francois Steyn try a minute after Mumm had spilled a kick-off.

    Boks fullback Francois Steyn increased the lead to 37-31 with a 68th minute penalty goal and a JP Pietersen try a minute from time rubbed salt into Australia’s wounds.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (201)

    • August 29th 2010 @ 3:10am
      JonnyP said | August 29th 2010 @ 3:10am | ! Report

      I’ll admit I haven’t seen the game yet but going by your general description “implode” seems a bit harsh.

      • August 29th 2010 @ 10:13am
        Peter said | August 29th 2010 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        The Wallabies immediate future looks like this:

        Australia to get killed off in the next game.

        Beale and Cooper to go to rugby league.

        Deans sacked.

        Rugby’s brand further diminished!!!!!

      • August 29th 2010 @ 12:13pm
        andrew said | August 29th 2010 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

        Implode is a bit generous. They completely, totally and inexcusably fell to pieces. The second half was as bad as I can ever remember the Wallabies playing.

      • August 30th 2010 @ 11:36am
        Mark M said | August 30th 2010 @ 11:36am | ! Report

        From the 12th minute onwards the Sprinboks scored 37-10. I think implode is the appropriate word in a sporting sense.

    • Roar Guru

      August 29th 2010 @ 3:18am
      Poth Ale said | August 29th 2010 @ 3:18am | ! Report

      Well at 15 minutes, Australia were leading 21-7
      At 26 minutes, Australia were leading 28-17.
      They then conceded 27-3 for the remainder of the match.

      If implode is a bit harsh – what word would you prefer?

      • August 29th 2010 @ 5:07am
        JonnyP said | August 29th 2010 @ 5:07am | ! Report

        I’d prefer either messed it up, buggered it up or stuffed it up.

        • Roar Guru

          August 29th 2010 @ 6:42am
          M.O.C. said | August 29th 2010 @ 6:42am | ! Report

          how about choked – or do you only get that label if you wear black

        • Roar Guru

          August 29th 2010 @ 8:01am
          Poth Ale said | August 29th 2010 @ 8:01am | ! Report

          In denial – might be even better.

          • August 29th 2010 @ 8:16am
            Moaman said | August 29th 2010 @ 8:16am | ! Report

            Up die Nile wizzout a paddle? 😉

      • August 29th 2010 @ 6:31am
        johno said | August 29th 2010 @ 6:31am | ! Report

        The highveld got hold of them.

        You can’t play that tempo for 60 minutes, nevermind 80, not up here at least.

    • August 29th 2010 @ 3:19am
      Seiran said | August 29th 2010 @ 3:19am | ! Report

      Another Wallaby test lost and another win thrown away. Absolutely shocking ball handling and lineout skills on display in the second half.

      The Wallabies had this game in the bag, but they just kept on letting the Boks back into the game.

      Why didn’t Deans use Burgess and Barnes? Surely their attacking skills were sorely missed in the second half? Genia wasn’t making an impact in the final 30 minutes and Burgess should have been given a go.

      • August 29th 2010 @ 5:19pm
        David said | August 29th 2010 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

        Barnes…attacking skills??? You got to be kidding right 🙂 All he does is kick the ball away and in the new game, I cannot think of anything more disastrous.

    • August 29th 2010 @ 3:22am
      Hayden said | August 29th 2010 @ 3:22am | ! Report

      A great game, hats off to both teams. Exciting end to end stuff, but you have to agree that the Wallabies failed to hold on and ran out of gas at the end. As mentioned on another thread, what the hell was Deans thinking regarding use of the bench? Tired players made mistakes and took poor options, while the bench warmers sat on their hands looking on.

    • August 29th 2010 @ 4:09am
      Suzy Poison said | August 29th 2010 @ 4:09am | ! Report

      Game could have gone either way. There is minimal difference between all three teams. The kiwis won on the bell last weekend thanks to ref not picking up a dodgy forward pass. It could have just as easily been the same again. Funny this was the same ref that P Divvy complained about in NZ, but he also reffed the 2007 World Cup final and no Saffas complained then? I thought the Wallas were right in it until the death. Hougaard is a find. Looked far more dangerous than Genia with the ball. Cooper not that great this test, perhaps thinking of Parramatta? Having Steyn there to kick 60metres penalties helps. It’s a 50/50 game next weekend. Matfield does nothing all day, but you got to have him in team, just for that Walla penalty steal in the dying stages when the pressure is on. He earned his 100th cap right there. legend. Wallas can win next weekend. It’s going to be a another nail-biter. Walla fans don’t be harsh on Deans, it’s a tough place to win on the highveld. Even the Kiwis struggle here. As a Saffa fan, I would far rather have Deans as our coach, than P Divvy?

      • August 29th 2010 @ 4:15am
        MOTHER TERESA said | August 29th 2010 @ 4:15am | ! Report

        SUZY,no cos one is certified and deans is in denial and harder to eliminate

        • August 29th 2010 @ 8:48am
          sheek said | August 29th 2010 @ 8:48am | ! Report


          So who is the new ‘messiah’ waiting in the ante-room?

          Let’s get him into the head Wallaby coaching gig immediately.

          And then the “wonderful” Wallabies & “wonderful” domestic national structures we have can stuff up his coaching credentials as well.

          Bring forward the poison chalice…..

          • August 29th 2010 @ 9:11am
            MOTHER TERESA said | August 29th 2010 @ 9:11am | ! Report

            sheek,your man deans has let you down.i tell you what mate ill select to fit a flexible strategy keep the same players to foster the culture and allow you to do the hands on coaching as long as you understand one basic tenet,judicious use of bench.

            sack the village idiot and take over sheek at least you can string a fluent set of words together.

            • August 29th 2010 @ 2:39pm
              sheek said | August 29th 2010 @ 2:39pm | ! Report


              And did you read the wisdom of John Connolly in the Sun-Herald?

              Added absolutely nothing new of any substance to the debate & even chose almost exactly the same starting XV.

              So does that mean we don’t have any other players to choose from apart from the current lot???

              Besides, I’m unavailable to coach the Wallabies – I’m not yet ready to die by ‘poisoned chalice’…..!

              • August 29th 2010 @ 2:44pm
                Red Rooster said | August 29th 2010 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                Sheek – note Connelly choose a different bench that had experience and maturity, one that might have been able to close out a game – Small difference can have big impacts – all goes to selection, then again if you don’t use your bench then it does not matter who is sitting on it does it?

              • August 29th 2010 @ 2:57pm
                sheek said | August 29th 2010 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Red Rooster,

                Understand your logic. Yes, Deans doesn’t appear to be using his bench to maximum effect. I would like to know why, like everyone else. And yes, sometimes it’s the small things that can make a difference.

                However, with so many things about/in Australian rugby being responsible for our ongoing demise, it’s hardly about one or two little things.

              • August 30th 2010 @ 8:13am
                Ben S said | August 30th 2010 @ 8:13am | ! Report

                ‘However, with so many things about/in Australian rugby being responsible for our ongoing demise, it’s hardly about one or two little things.’

                But it is though, sheek. Australia did not lose that Test because the country has no strong domestic competition.

      • August 29th 2010 @ 4:37am
        Hayden said | August 29th 2010 @ 4:37am | ! Report

        Agreed that there is not much between the teams. That’s what makes knock out comps so interesting and unpredictable. With the 3N, and to a lesser degree the 6N, the cream usually rises to the top. ( I say lesser in the 6N because there is no home and away component.) Everyone is raving about the ABs, but id=f you look at the games they have played against 15 men, the results have been close.

        Hougaard is a find – saved the game with his tackle on Two-Dads. I’ll wait until teams are selected before calling next weekend’s game.

        • August 29th 2010 @ 7:44am
          cinematic said | August 29th 2010 @ 7:44am | ! Report

          Suggest you refer to the competition points standing before suggesting the teams are close. There is daylight between the AB’s and the other two.

          • August 29th 2010 @ 8:51am
            Hayden said | August 29th 2010 @ 8:51am | ! Report

            There is. My point was that two of the games have actually been pretty close, with the ABs only winning last week thanks to a forward pass that wasn’t called.

            • August 29th 2010 @ 8:57am
              bayboy said | August 29th 2010 @ 8:57am | ! Report

              So would it be fair to say they only lost the WC semi final due to a forward pass using your logic?

              • August 29th 2010 @ 9:30am
                Magic Rat said | August 29th 2010 @ 9:30am | ! Report

                Maybe if they got to the final and were put out by a forward pass but as it was the quarter then no.

              • August 29th 2010 @ 9:32am
                Hayden said | August 29th 2010 @ 9:32am | ! Report

                Not at all. The best example of how a points table doesn’t alway tell the full story is a hockey playoff series I watched a few years back. Colorado were playing Vancouver, and won the best of seven series 4 – 0. On the surface, a thrashing, but each game went into overtime, and obviously could have gone either way. That’s all I’m trying to say.

    • August 29th 2010 @ 4:36am
      Wayne said | August 29th 2010 @ 4:36am | ! Report

      I have decided that I love rugby too much to like it. I was watching the game from my home in Stellenbosch and after 10 minutes I was thinking of the cheapest, easiest way to kill myself. My daughter sat next to me while I was watching and she asked what was wrong with my muscles. I am continually moving my legs either left or right depending on what is going on in the game. The second half saw me standing the whole way through in an attempt to ease the tension. After all is said and done, there cannot be a rugby tournament anywhere in the world that comes close to the Trinations.

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