In Sydney on Saturday, the Springboks defeated the Wallabies 24-8 to earn extra points in the Rugby Championship and earn their first victory in Australia since 2013.
After losing their previous two games, the Boks were under a lot of pressure going into this one.
However, the one issue that accompanied Jacques Nienaber’s squad into the second Test against the Wallabies was not taking use of their chances. They had a far better start than last week as they controlled territory in the early phase.
Due to their poor execution and lack of patience throughout the first half of the game, the South Africans’ deficit of 12-3 at the break might have been much worse.
Given their prior throw-in difficulties, the Boks’ lineout performance and defence in the first half were both encouraging.
The latter was a significant issue at Adelaide Oval, where some dreadful individual errors proved expensive.
But this past weekend, there was a significant improvement, and the Boks’ spirit and tenacity in the second half were outstanding.
The Bulls wing Canan Moodie’s try was without a doubt the high point of all the positives in the first half.
The young man made his international debut memorable, becoming the second-youngest Springbok debutant since readmission after veteran Frans Steyn.
In addition to always seeking for work, he also scored the visitors’ second try in spectacular manner on the cusp of halftime by demonstrating exceptional awareness, aerial abilities, and timing to catch scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse’s punt from his own territory and sprint to the try line.
The world champions took a 7-0 lead after 15 minutes when inside centre Damian de Allende scored the game’s first goal and flyhalf Damian Willemse added the conversion. With a yellow card, Australia lost a man.
With the exception of the two difficult kicks he hooked, the Stormers 10 was simply superb. He was in complete control of his job (after previously excelling at the age of 15 and 12).
Around the halfway point, the hosts scored their first points, and while missed opportunities in the first 40 minutes might have been regretted, the Boks got off to a great start after the break as they worked the ball through the hands and did well to keep it alive, with Franco Mostert stamping on a great team play to take them to a 17-3 lead.
Before any try-scoring action resumed, it was quite some time, but when it did in the 72nd minute, it came in droves.
In the fourth try for the Boks, Makazole Mapimpi once again shown his ability to finish, and as the wing planted the ball, tensions erupted. He received a yellow card, but the damage was already done as Frans Steyn added the additional points to give the Boks a commanding 24-3 lead.
While the Boks were reduced to 13 men after Willie le Roux was also given a yellow card, they had done enough to earn a much-needed victory. The Wallabies secured a consolation try via Pete Samu’s late touchdown.