Springboks winger Aphiwe Dyantyi scored a try inside 25 seconds as South Africa maintained their Rugby Championship momentum with a 23-12 victory over Australia at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.
The Springboks dominated the early part of the game, scoring two converted tries inside 22 minutes, but they then had to weather a ferocious assault from Australia, who were seeking a first victory on South African soil since 2011.
Scrum-half Faf de Klerk also scored a try for the Boks and fly-half Handre Pollard kicked two conversions and three penalties as South Africa backed up their stunning 36-34 victory in New Zealand a fortnight ago .
Australia scored tries through centre Reece Hodge and scrum-half Will Genia, but they lacked an incisive edge on attack and slipped to a fourth defeat in five games in the competition despite dominating territory and possession.
The Boks scored their opening try from the kick-off as robust tackling pushed the visitors deep into their 22; Wallabies fly-half Kurtley Beale tried an ambitious skip-pass from under his goalposts, but Dyanti collected the ball and fell over the tryline.
The hosts dominated the first quarter as Australia made a number of unforced errors, and the Boks added a second try when Pollard slipped the tackle of hooker Folau Fainga'a and set De Klerk away to canter over.
The Boks looked to be in complete control of the game, but two tries in three minutes saw Australia roar back into the contest.
From Australia's first meaningful attack in the Boks' 22, Hodge slid home in the corner after a fine skip-pass from Genia that took out four home defenders.
Australia then created space on the left after an aimless De Klerk up-and-under, and an exchange of passes between wing Marika Koroibete and Genia saw the scrum-half score.
Pollard landed penalties that saw the Boks extend their advantage to 20-12 at the break.
Dyanti was caught high in a tackle that gave Pollard the opportunity to add what would be the only points of the second half from a penalty, while Australia turned down kickable penalties in favour of attacking set-pieces that yielded no results.
Referee Jerome Garces ran out of patience with repeated infringements from the home side, and Dyanti received a yellow card for playing the ball on the ground that reduced the Boks to 14 players on 65 minutes.
But the home side fought bravely on defence and kept the Australians scoreless for the remainder of the game to secure a scrappy victory.
Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus said that his team could have beaten Australia far more comfortably had they taken their chances, particularly in the first half when they were they better side.
"I think tonight we created more chances than we did against New Zealand, and if we had converted some of those the game would have gone very differently," Erasmus said.
"If we'd taken them we could have given them a hiding. In the past couple of months when we made changes, we lost matches; so to make eight changes and beat Australia is something to celebrate, and before we start to look at where we need to improve we should probably enjoy the victory."
Erasmus picked out the improving defence and the character of the team as two other features of the victory.
"In the second half we didn't play well but we showed a lot of character once again," Erasmus said.
"Overall I think the guys are getting the hang of the defensive system but it's not something that you can get right through talking about it or on the training ground. It's something you have to make mistakes trying, and learn from those mistakes."
The Wallabies now head for Argentina with their coach, Michael Cheika, also blaming missed chances for the defeat but conceding there were areas in which his team had been outplayed.
"We didn't manage the physical contest, but we still managed to create opportunities... we just didn't take them," Cheika said.