The Wallabies bounced back from their opening Tri Nations defeat to totally outclass South Africa 49-0 in their clash at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. John Connolly´s side ran in a total of six tries in a result that will further question Jake White´s position as coach of the Springboks. It was Australia´s biggest ever win over South Africa and came just a week after they were outplayed up front against New Zealand in a 32-12 loss. The drubbing was also the Springboks´ second-biggest defeat in their 100-year history of Test football, just behind their 53-3 loss to England at Twickenham four years ago.
Australia kept the visitors scoreless and ran in six unanswered tries, their lethal backline creating havoc all over the park. Man-of-the-match Matt Giteau scored twice for Australia, with Jeremy Paul, Greg Holmes, Chris Latham and Mark Chisholm all crossing for five-pointers, while Stirling Mortlock booted 16 points from five conversions and two penalties. Stephen Larkham got the scoreboard ticking with a wobbly 40-metre drop goal in the eighth minute that caught the visitors off guard, and Mortlock had an opportunity to add three more points from a penalty three minutes later, but his attempt hit the right upright and bounced back into play.
Latham was in great form with the boot in the opening 40 minutes and it was a massive 60-metre kick for touch that saw the Wallabies awarded a line-out five metres from the line. From the throw, Paul charged over on the back of a determined rolling maul and with Mortlock kicking the extras, Australia held a 10-0 lead.
Percy Montgomery found himself under a towering Wallabies cross-field kick shortly after and the Springbok full-back could not hold onto the ball, leaving the home side in another excellent attacking position three metres from the opposition try-line. The Wallabies were awarded a penalty a minute later, and Mortlock added another three points from directly in front of the posts to take their lead to 13-0. Holmes´ try came off the back of some brilliant team work, with Larkham dancing around the Springboks defence before offloading to George Gregan, who slipped a pass to Holmes to dive over the line. Victor Matfield was sin-binned in the 30th minute after a deliberate knock-on and Giteau capitalised on the extra man when he slipped through the defence and scored seven minutes later.
The visitors came out with renewed vigour in the second half but they continually squandered opportunities in attack. Their best opportunity came in the 49th minute when they had a scrum five metres from the line, but Australia stole possession and closed out the threat. Jaque Fourie looked on his way to scoring when he made a burst down the middle, but the Springboks once more turned over possession with wayward passing. Fourie Du Preez ensured the damage was not even worse for South Africa with two brilliant saving tackles when he held up Sam Cordingley and Nathan Sharpe in goal. Latham crossed in the 59th minute to push the margin to 37-0, before further tries by Giteau and Chisholm rubbed salt into the wounds of the Springboks.
Australia (30) 49 Tries: Paul, Holmes, Giteau 2, Latham, Chisholm Cons: Mortlock 5. Pens: Mortlock 2 Drop Goals: Larkham.
South Africa (0) 0.
Australia: Latham, Gerrard, Mortlock, Giteau, Tuqiri, Larkham, Gregan, Fava, Smith, Elsom, Vickerman, Sharpe, Shepherdson, Paul, Holmes.
Replacements: Hardman, Baxter, Chisholm, Waugh, Cordingley, Rogers, Rathbone.
South Africa: Montgomery, Ndungane, Fourie, Olivier, Habana, van der Westhuyzen, Januarie, Spies, Smith, Van Niekerk, Rossouw, Matfield, van der Linde, Smit, du Randt.
Replacements: Coetzee, Andrews