Wallabies draw with South Africa in Perth
By: Michael Tozer
Published: 10 September 2017 Image credit: Getty Images
The Wallabies and Springboks played to a 23-all stalemate after 80 minutes in front of a passionate Perth crowd.The Wallabies smothered a late drop-goal attempt from Elton Jantjies to survive defeat and escape with a draw.
A clutch penalty goal from “The Ice Man” Bernard Foley with nine minutes remaining helped Australia to level the scores, but the Springboks remained vigilant and continued to test the Australian defense.
The Springboks were first to get on the board when Elton Jantjies slotted a penalty goal in the third minute, but the Wallabies drew level five minutes later through the boot of Bernard Foley.
It wasn’t until the 24th minute that either side scored a five-pointer - and South Africa were first to strike as Jesse Kriel dobbed a deft kick into the right corner and scooped up his own kick to push the margin to 10-3However, Australia hit back off the corresponding restart as Kurtley Beale stormed through the South African defense untouched to draw things level again.
The contest was physical - and the South African pack stamped their authority on the game, forcing the Wallabies to commit several ruck and lineout infringements.
Despite the ruck pressure, Australia were the aggressors in the opening half - as they did more damage with ball in hand, racking up over 400 run metres in the opening half.
The sea of blue rose to their feet on the stroke of halftime when Foley kicked his second penalty goal of the night to set the halftime score at 13-10.
The Perth crowd played a big part in the contest - as they were vocal from the outset, chanting “Force, Force” before the game and throughout - while also switching the gold jerseys for their own blue Western Force jumpers, in support of their recently axed club.
The crowd of 17,528 was never louder than in the 46th minute when Western Force star and hometown hero Tatafu Polota-Nau crashed over for a try on the back of a brilliant maul from Australia - giving the home side a 20-10 lead.South Africa drew back within a converted try in the 53rd minute when Jantjies added another three points to his tally for the night
However, the Springboks captured the lead in the 68th minute when Jantjies kicked another penalty goal from in front of the sticks to set his personal tally for the night to 13 points.
The Wallabies drew back through The Iceman in the 69th minute…and we looked to be set for a wild final 10 minutes, as the Springboks started to turn up the intensity and push Australia to the brink.
As the siren sounded, the Springboks were within the Australian 22 and probing - setting up for some late-game heroics for Elton Jantjies, but some inspired defensive work from the Wallabies saw them charge it down.
When Jesse Kriel knocked the ball on, Australia had their own chance to snatch the game - but a knock on under immense pressure by Samu Kerevi meant there would be no winner.
Despite the loss, the crowd was still in full force after the siren - continuing their support for their home team, and also their heroes in green and gold.
Tries: Beale, Polota-Nau
Cons: Foley 2
Pens: Foley 3
South Africa 23
Tries: Kriel, Marx
Cons: Jantjies 2
Pens: Jantjies 3