The Springboks suffered their second straight loss in the Rugby Championship when they went down 23-17 to Australia on Saturday in Brisbane.
After the Boks went into the break with a narrow lead of 14-13 it was the Wallabies who took control in the second half by controlling territory and possession while the Boks had to make most of their play from within deep and again lost too many ball in contact.
In the second minute after the break, Bok lock Eben Etzebeth was shown a yellow card for not rolling away and Wallaby centre Bernard Foley made no mistake with the penalty to take the lead at 16-14.
In the 62nd minute, Foley scored the second try for Australia and, after he converted his own effort, the home team went into a 23-14 lead and, from there on, it was a battle for the Boks to stay in touch.
It could have been worse for the Boks had Wallaby centre Samu Kerevi’s try been awarded in the 46th minute, but referee Nigel Owens saw that his knee was in touch as he grounded the ball.
In the 66th minute Boks replacement flyhalf Morne Steyn kicked a penalty after the Aussies killed the ball with the Boks strong on attack and, with the score now 23-17, there was all the opportunity to pull the game off, but sadly that was the last score of the Test.
The Boks got off to a bright start by scoring two early tries by No 8 Warren Whiteley and fullback Johan Goosen to go into a 14-3 lead by the 18th minute, but sadly they could never build on that solid foundation.
Whiteley’s try came about after the Boks created a turnover and captain Adriaan Strauss feeding the backline where Etzebeth and flank Oupa Mohoje made storming runs.
Goosen’s try was scored after Strauss intercepted and, when flyhalf Elton Jantjies was put into possession, he punted the ball forward for Goosen to collect and to go over uncontested.
The Aussies, however, stayed in touch with two penalties by Foley in the opening half while lock Adam Coleman barged over in the 28th minute for their first try.
Aussie fullback Israel Folau was guilty of a late shoulder charge on Goosen with two minutes left in the first half and, with the Boks strong on attack, unfortunately Jantjies was just wide with the penalty attempt.
It was also a day where the bench didn’t make the required impact, with Jaco Kriel, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Trevor Nyakane and Franco Mostert being send on at about the 52nd minute mark, but sadly the Boks didn’t create enough continuity to even remotely look like scoring any more tries in the second half.
The Boks are now off to Christchurch where they face the All Blacks next week who mauled Argentina 57-22 earlier on Saturday.
Scorers: Australia 23 (13): Tries: Adam Coleman, Bernard Foley. Conversions: Foley (2). Penalties: Foley (3).
South Africa 17 (14): Tries: Warren Whiteley, Johan Goosen. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (2). Penalty: Morne Steyn