Welcome to Sydney Olympic Stadium where in 30 minutes the Wallabies will take on the Springboks. The good news from a running rugby perspective is the deluge stopped this morning and the Sun came out this afternoon. The ground looks in much better condition than it was for the Samoa game last week.
Tonight we’ll be covering the game in several formats. Mr Timms will be running a live and interactive chat session on our live page, while I’ll be updating this blog post from the press every 5 minutes or so throughout the match.
In team news, Quade Cooper has recovered from the fever which prevented him attending the captains run yesterday meaning the teams to take the field are as named in our match preview.
Australia: 15. Kurtley Beale, 14. James O’Connor, 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12. Pat McCabe, 11. Digby Ioane, 10. Quade Cooper, 9. Will Genia, 8. Ben McCalman, 7. David Pocock, 6. Rocky Elsom (c), 5. James Horwill, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Ben Alexander, 2. Stephen Moore, 1. Sekope Kepu. Reserves: 16. Saia Faingaa, 17. Pek Cowan, 18. Nathan Sharpe, 19. Matt Hodgson, 20. Scott Higginbotham, 21. Nick Phipps, 22. Anthony Faingaa.
South Africa: 15. Gio Aplon, 14. Bjorn Basson, 13. Juan De Jongh, 12. Wynand Olivier, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Morne Steyn, 9. Ruan Pienaar, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Danie Rossouw, 6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Alistair Hargreaves, 4. Flip van der Merwe, 3. Werner Kruger, 2. John Smit (c), 1. Dean Greyling. Reserves: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Ryan Kankowski, 19. Jean Deysel, 20. Charl McLeod, 21. Adrian Jacobs, 22. Pat Lambie.
Referee: Chris Pollock (NZ)
Assistant Referees: Keith Brown (NZ), Vinny Munro (NZ)
Television Match Official: Matt Goddard (Aus)
The players will be welcomed to the ground by juniors from Gordon and Hornsby. The Wallabies are wearing black arm-bands today to remember Halley Appleby. Early points to South Africa with the Soweto Gospel Choir easily out signing Peter Cousens and the Australian Girls choir.
First 5 minutes
Early on the Wallabies looked to spread and run the ball, however a few mistakes allowed the Springboks to regain possession and revive the midfield bomb tactic that was so popular in 2007. Early signs for the set piece were positive with both teams securing their own ball in both lineout and scrums. This period of play was played entirely in the Wallabies half.
5 to 10 minutes
Shortly after Deon Greyling went off for blood, a Wallabies turnover allowed Quade Cooper to sell a dummy and set up a length of the field try from the Wallabies 22 with great involvements from Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, and eventually scored by Ben Alexander. James O’Connor converted, and from the restart Will Genia stepped a defender and put Digby Ioane into space. Digby stepped Gio Aplon to score the Wallabies 2nd try. O’Connor misses and after 10 minutes and 2 trips into South Africa’s half the score is 12-0.
10 to 15 minutes
This period saw some great individual moments of play by Wallabies, and ended with them winning a penalty in South Africa’s half for playing the ball on the ground.
15 to 20 minutes
Rocky opted for a lineout from the penalty and the Wallabies set up camp in the Springboks 22. Unfortunately after several attacking moves the ball was knocked on, allowing the Springboks a 5m defensive scrum. Following the scrum collapse Pollock told Kepu to square up, and Smit to stay high. The Wallabies won a Springbok lineout, however were penalised for a prop being offside. From this penalty the Springboks were into the Wallabies 22 when a huge tackle from Kepu dislodged the ball.
20 to 25 minutes
The highlight of this period was a great tackle by James O’Connor to bring down Ashley Johnson who was rampaging down the wing. Deon Greyling left the field again for blood, and the Wallabies won an attacking lineout on the Bokke’ 22.
25 to 30 minutes
Flip van der Merwe seemed to pick up an injury to his left wrist during this period, with no lock on the bench for the Springboks we could see Danie Roussouw move to the second row if Flip doesn’t recover. A long kick was fielded by Will Genia diving over the sideline, had he left it then the ball would have gone out, however the error gave the Springboks a throw into the lineout. Soon after the Springboks won a penalty for a Wallaby transgression at the breakdown, Morne converted, 12-3.
30 to 35 minutes
A free flowing period with both teams shifting the ball until Alistair Hargreaves entered an Australian ruck not from the side, but from the back. The Wallabies set up a lineout and a strong run by Kurtley was called back for a forward pass. At the resulting scrum the South Africans were penalised for illegal scrummaging, and Rocky opted to take the points. James O’Connor slotted it, 15-3 to the Wallabies.
35 to 40 minutes
The Springboks put on some good attacking moves and made good metres into the Wallabies 22 before coughing up the ball and the Wallabies counter was looking potent. Kurtley chipped and was then cleaned up by Gio Aplon’s arse, while the ball was regathered and put through more hands only to be knocked on by a James Horwill. The Bokke scrum was under all sorts of pressure so Pollock penalised Kepu for collapsing? The last move of the half saw the Springboks set up a rolling maul that made 15 metres before winning a penalty for collapsing. Morne converted, 15-6 at half time.
40 to 45 minutes
From the restart the Wallabies looked to attack and were soon camped in the Boks’ 22. Will Genia was a constant threat around the fringes and Quade ran a great drifting line to throw a shocking pass that made O’Connor look like a hero as he somehow grabbed the ball and fell over the tryline. James then converted his own try making it 22-6.
45 to 50 minutes
The Wallabies won a penalty for having their own maul collapsed. Back into the Springboks 22 Quade set up hot stepping hooker Stephen Moore who ran the last 10 metres to score the bonus point try under the posts. JOC converts, 29-6.
50 to 55 minutes
From a defensive South African scrum the Wallabies won a full arm penalty for Werner Kruger collapsing. JOC converts, 32-6. The Boks found their turn to attack from the restart, running deep into Wallabies territory before a mistake popped the ball to Pat Macabe who started a counter attack. Adam Ashley-Cooper had two to beat for the line and sold a dummy to score in the corner. JOC converts, 39-6.
Substitutions: Ashley Johnson (Off)
55 to 60 minutes
The Springboks won a scrum on the Wallabies’ 5 metre line and quick work by former Bok captain Chillyboy Ralepelle saw him score South Africa’s first try after being on field for 30 seconds. Morne converts, 39-13.
Substitutions: Elsom (Higginbotham), Horwill (Sharpe), Moore (Fainga’a)
60 to 65 minutes
Substitutions: Adam Ashley-Cooper (Fainga’a), Genia (Phipps). Olivier (Jacobs)
65 to 70 minutes
The Wallabies stole two Springbok lineouts and seemed to break the line with every touch. Kurtley hurt his left ankle but played on, probably because there were no backs left on the bench.
70 to 75 minutes
Kurtley is subbed for Pek Cowan and Higginbotham moves into the wing. The Boks looked sure to score twice, the first one butchered by Bjorn Basson, and second by a massive tackle from Digby Ioane. The ball barely left the Wallabies 22 during this period of play, and penalties were taken as lineouts. A strong run from CJ van der Linde set up John Smit to score by placing the ball against the base of the post. Morne converts, 39-20.
Substitutions: Kurtley Beale (Pek Cowan)
75 to 80 minutes
A messy finish to the game with possession changing several times and the Wallabies almost scoring from the last play of the the match.
Wallabies 39 (Tries: Ben Alexander, Digby Ioane, James O’Connor, Stephen Moore, Adam Ashley-Cooper)
Springboks 20 (Tries: Chillyboy Ralepelle, John Smit)