A missed penalty in the 79th minute by flyhalf Elton Jantjies cost the Springboks a narrow Rugby Championship win over Australia when they had to settle for a 27-27 draw against Autralia on Saturday night.
It was always about how the Springbok will respond after the All Black shame and while they were better, they missed far too many scoring opportunities again.
With both teams scoring three tries each, it was Jantjies’ first miss of the night that defined the result.
The miss was surprising as he was on song with his five earlier attempts.
It is the second time the teams drew this season after playing to a 23-all stalemate in Perth.
Who was the star in this match?
While a few players came close it was scrumhalf Ross Cronje who gave direction to his backline and granted more freedom for his flyhalf Jantjies. His try-saving tackle on Wallaby left-wing Reece Hodge in the 64th minute of the game – with the Boks trailing 27-24 – kept his team in the contest,
Key moments and themes
- After the Boks made most of the inroads in the first 10 minutes of the game, it was the dangerous Wallaby fullback Israel Folau who scored the first try in the 11th minute taking a short inside pass to confuse the Boks defence for a 7-0 lead. It was the first of a few instances where the Wallabies showed their worth on the counter.
- The Boks were to make work much harder for their first try scored by tighthead prop Ruan Dreyer after setting up numerous phases to draw the Aussie defence back in before the hole finally opened up to tie the scored at 7-7 after 18 minutes. That score was supposed to lift the home side but they kept on gifting the Aussies opportunities.
- The Springboks’ tactical awareness was suspect in this match. They conceded two soft opportunities because they tried to run the ball from their 22, while it was baffling that when they seemed to have a decent chance to run in the second half, they kicked. South Africa are allowing their opponents to dictate how they play and that’s not the hallmark of a good side.
- Referee Ben O’Keeve wasn’t the most popular man in the stadium after Bok wing Dillyn Leyds was the victim of a vicious high tackle in the 38th minute. Bok skipper Eben Etzebeth stepped in and shoved a few players around, which left O’Keeve no alternative but to have a stern talk to both him and Wallaby counterpart Michael Hooper. Nonetheless, it was a suspect decision that deserved more than just a penalty to the Springboks.
South Africa – Tries: Ruan Dreyer, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (3). Penalties: Jantjies: (2).
Australia – Tries: Israel Folau, Marika Koroibeta, Kurtley Beale. Conversions: Bernard Foley (3). Penalties: Foley (2).