Rob Horne scores late try to help Wallabies steal thrilling 24-23 win over Springboks at Patersons Stadium
Australia 24 South Africa 23
The Wallabies got out of jail very late in their Rugby Championship game with South Africa. Australia stunned the Springboks scoring tries in the first and last 5 minutes of the match.
Foxsports saw it this way:-
THE Springboks refused to blow up about a controversial yellow card to Bryan Habana that helped the Wallabies escape with a dramatic one-point win in Perth.
The Wallabies trailed 23-17 with less than three minutes on the clock but given one last chance to attack, winger Rob Horne scored and five-eighth Bernard Foley coolly stepped up to nail another difficult kick to claim a much-needed Aussie victory.
But the hosts had been given a huge leg up in their pursuit of Horne’s late winner when Habana was contentiously sin-binned over 10 minutes earlier for a marginal high tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper.
The Springbok speedster collected his rival around the shoulders and neck, and after reviewing it on the big screen, referee George Clancy pulled out a yellow card.
With a man up and good impact from the bench, the Wallabies finally found composure missing for most of the game to attack and — just in the nick of time — exploit their superior numbers.
Boks coach Heyneke Meyer was clearly cranky post-match but chose to bite his tongue when asked what he made of the Habana yellow card.
“I think you know the answer and I know the answer, so I am not going to answer that,” Meyer said.
“The ref is always right and the only thing you expect is consistency.
“The referee has to make choices, and we don’t want to use that as an excuse. At the end of the day I thought it was an excellent tackle.
“We are never going to use it as an excuse. We will keep our integrity in tact. We respect what they do.”
South African skipper Jean de Villiers told Clancy on the field he’d been collared by a similar tackle early in the game with no card issued, but said post-match it was not the Springbok way to complain about referees.
“We will have a look in our review but to sit here and complain about referee’s decisions I don’t think that’s our way. We will just take this one of the chin,” de Villiers said.
“We should have won and played some good rugby but probably due to our own mistakes we didn’t win it.”
De Villiers questioned why Habana was off the field for 13 minutes, but that was due to the fact play didn’t stop for a long period when he was entitled to return. Indeed, Australia appeared cooked just prior to the Horne try when the Boks won a penalty after repelling the long Wallaby raid, but Morne Steyn failed to find touch.
That gave Australia the last roll of the dice.
De Villiers said he was gutted for Habana to celebrated his 100th Test in such a disappointing way.
“I do feel for him. Getting a sin bin in your 100th, that’s not the way he envisaged it and definitely not the way he saw it. It is tough,” he said.
“We are pretty shattered, especially with a guy like Bryan, who has given so much to the team and has been such a great role model to kids, and all South Africans.”
The Wallabies were relieved to pull a win out of the jaws of defeat after bumbling their way through most of a rain-affected slogfest.
Israel Folau scored inside two minutes following a bright start, but the Wallabies responded with a try to Cornal Hendricks in the 12th minute.
As they would do for much of the game, the Wallabies battled to get out of their own half with an array of mistakes, poor options and hair-pulling discipline issues, and Steyn made them pay. He would finish with six penalties and an 18-point haul.
Foley’s boot — and a lack of attacking adventure from the kick-obsessed South Africans — kept Australia in the contest, however, and when Habana was marched, it gave the hosts the idea to run the ball again.
Which worked a treat. Several good opportunities were still botched, but when Horne got a sniff following some nice touches from Tevita Kuridrani and Kurtley Beale, he finished strongly.
Australia face Argentina next week on the Gold Coast and South Africa travel to New Zealand to meet the All Blacks.
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