Australia 25-17 South Africa: Wallabies bounce back with sparkling Rugby Championship win over Springboks

The Wallabies bounced back from their hiding by Argentina in San Juan last time out to beat world champions South Africa at Adelaide Oval with Fraser McReight and Marika Koroibete scoring to help the green and gold move to the top of the Rugby Championship standings

Last Updated: 27/08/22 9:11am


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Highlights of the Rugby Championship clash between Australia and South Africa at the Adelaide Oval

Highlights of the Rugby Championship clash between Australia and South Africa at the Adelaide Oval

Australia bounced back from a humiliating loss in their last outing to beat world champions South Africa 25-17 at Adelaide Oval on Saturday to move to the top of the Rugby Championship standings.

Flanker Fraser McReight scored two tries and man of the match Marika Koroibete also crossed the whitewash, with Noah Lolesio adding 10 points from the kicking tee in an assured performance at fly-half.

The Springboks, looking for a first win over the Wallabies in Australia since 2013, besieged the home try line for lengthy periods, but Handre Pollard’s penalty was their only reward until Kwagga Smith scored two tries in the last five minutes.

Australia: Tries: Fraser McReight 2, Marika Koroibete 1; Conversions: Noah Lolesio 2; Penalties: 2

South Africa: Tries: Kwagga Smith 2; Conversions: Elton Jantjies 2; Penalties: Handre Pollard 1

“It was a tough tour of Argentina and I’m very proud of the effort we put in,” said Australia captain James Slipper. “There were parts of that game where we had to show a lot of character, and we scored when we had our chances.”

Desperate to redeem themselves after the 48-17 loss to Argentina, the Wallabies were a try to the good inside the opening minute.

They stole the kick-off and No 8 Rob Valetini was soon rampaging up the right touchline, with McReight getting low to dive across the line two phases later.

Lolesio added the extras and a penalty six minutes later to give the home side a 10-0 lead before the Springboks got up to speed.

They would have reduced the lead had Pollard not missed two penalties before finally finding his range with his third tee shot in the 24th minute.

Sustained Springboks pressure on the Australia line resulted in winger Tom Wright being sent to the sin bin after half an hour and, with the home lineout a shambles, it looked only a matter of time before the visitors scored.

Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi was sent flying inches short of the try-line by Marika Koroibete with an incredible saving tackle

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Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi was sent flying inches short of the try-line by Marika Koroibete with an incredible saving tackle

Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi was sent flying inches short of the try-line by Marika Koroibete with an incredible saving tackle

Winger Makazole Mapimpi was hammered by his opposite number Koroibete as he launched himself at the line, however, and scrumhalf Faf de Klerk was shown a yellow card for slapping Nic White in the face at the back of a five-metre scrum.

Australia started the second half as they had the first, and another sweeping smash-and-grab raid in the 47th minute resulted in Koroibete crossing for their second five-pointer.

Better was to come 10 minutes later when Slipper flicked the ball inside to Lolesio, who raced through a huge gap in the defence before finding McReight with an offload that allowed the openside to grab his second try.

Lolesio added the conversion and another penalty to extend the lead to 22-3 and the path back into the match looked steep for the Springboks, even with the much vaunted “Bomb Squad” bench players on the field.

Fraser McReight (centre) is congratulated by teammates Noah Lolesio (left) and David Porecki after scoring

Fraser McReight (centre) is congratulated by teammates Noah Lolesio (left) and David Porecki after scoring

Two replacements did combine to finally give South Africa a try five minutes from time, when prop Vincent Koch made a break and found Smith inside for the score.

Smith was not finished, grabbing his second from a penalty tap as the final few seconds ticked away to make the scoreline more respectable.

“The game is about small margins and every opportunity they got they took it with both hands,” admitted South Africa captain Siya Kolisi.

Argentina, who topped the standings after thrashing Australia 48-17 in San Juan two weeks ago, take on the All Blacks in Christchurch in the second match of the round later on Saturday.

How to watch the 2022 Rugby Championship

Sky Sports will again be bringing you live coverage with New Zealand taking on Argentina from (8.05am) before Australia face South Africa once again (10.35am) in Round 4 of matches on Saturday, September 3.

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