rugby

‘Awe­some’ day for South Africa as Spring­boks up­set All Blacks

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GOLD COAST, Aus­tralia, Sept 15, (AFP): Ar­gentina scored their first win over Aus­tralia on Aus­tralian soil in 35 years when they downed the Wal­la­bies 2319 on Queens­land’s Gold Coast on Satur­day.

Af­ter lead­ing Aus­tralia 17-14 at the break, the Pu­mas held off a spir­ited come­back from the Wal­la­bies to record a fa­mous win.

The Wal­la­bies scored three tries to two but were un­done by their poor dis­ci­pline, with Ni­cholas Sanchez and Emil­iano Bof­felli kick­ing three penal­ties be­tween them.

It was Ar­gentina’s first win over the Wal­la­bies in Aus­tralia since 1983 and con­signed the Wal­la­bies to their fifth loss in their last six Test matches.

In a match played in per­fect con­di­tions, both teams at­tempted to play at­tack­ing rugby through­out.

But a host of han­dling er­rors meant the sec­ond half in par­tic­u­lar lacked flu­ency and de­vel­oped into an armwres­tle be­tween two evenly matched sides.

Aus­tralia had plenty of chances to win the match in the sec­ond half but dropped the ball too many times to let the Pu­mas off the hook.

They should have scored the win­ning try af­ter the siren when the oth­er­wise bril­liant Is­rael Fo­lau held onto the ball in­stead of pass­ing to an un­marked Bernard Fo­ley three me­tres from the line.

Fo­lau then lost pos­ses­sion when hit in a tackle by three Ar­gen­tine de­fend­ers and the match was over.

The first half had fea­tured some bril­liant back play from both sides, who rel­ished play­ing un­der clear skies and on a per­fect pitch.

The Pu­mas opened the scor­ing in just the third minute thanks to a 52-me­tre penalty from full­back Bof­felli.

The Wal­la­bies hit back when scrumhalf Will Ge­nia took an in­side ball from Reece Hodge to score be­side the posts.

Matt Toomua con­verted to make it 7-3, but the Pu­mas hit back im­me­di­ately when in­side cen­tre Jeron­imo De La Fuente broke the line and popped a ball to fly­half Sanchez to score.

Fo­lau then put Aus­tralia back in front with a bril­liant in­di­vid­ual try in the cor­ner when he beat five play­ers on his way to the try line.

How­ever, Ar­gentina had the last say of the half with a su­perb try of their own, Bautista Del­guy danc­ing through the Wal­laby tack­lers to fin­ish off a move that be­gan on their own 22 when flanker Pablo Mat­era broke the de­fence and charged 50 me­tres up­field be­fore find­ing his right winger.

Del­guy still had plenty to do, but he stepped off his right foot then shrugged off the tackle of full­back Dane Haylett-Petty to put the vis­i­tors back in front.

Sanchez kicked a penalty eight min­utes af­ter the restart to open a six-point lead.

But the Wal­la­bies came back to within one point thanks to a Haylet­tPetty try in the cor­ner, be­fore a sec­ond mon­ster Bof­felli penalty took the score to 23-19.

De­spite huge pres­sure from the home side, the Pu­mas held on to win for the first time since beat­ing the Wal­la­bies at Bal­ly­more in Bris­bane in 1983.

Spring­boks 36, All Blacks 34

In Welling­ton, the Spring­boks up­set 36-34 win over the world cham­pion All Blacks was rated “awe­some” but “lucky” by the South Africans as they tem­pered cel­e­bra­tions in Welling­ton on Satur­day.

South Africa’s first win in New Zealand since 2009 left the home side to chalk up their first Rugby Cham­pi­onship loss in three years.

It also snapped the vis­i­tors’ six match los­ing streak to the All Blacks dat­ing back to 2014.

New Zealand outscored the Spring­boks six tries to five, but while Beau­den Bar­rett had an off night with the boot, South African pivot Han­dre Pollard was suc­cess­ful with five out of six shots at goal.

“I’s an awe­some day for the team and an awe­some day for South Africa,” cap­tain Siya Kolisi said.

But coach Rassie Eras­mus said his team were lucky to win.

“We could have lost it in the last few sec­onds,” he said, af­ter re­place­ment All Black Damian McKen­zie spilled the ball a few me­tres short of the line in the game’s fi­nal play.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing in New Zealand on the back of losses to Ar­gentina and Aus­tralia, Eras­mus said his squad had lost some self-be­lief and a vic­tory against the All Blacks on their home turf was “un­be­liev­able”.

“There’s no way we can get ahead of our­selves,” he added. “This was one win with a bit of luck against the best team in the world.”

The All Blacks, who re­main head of the ta­ble with two rounds to play, dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion but were stunned by the strong South African de­fence.

“Con­grat­u­la­tions to South Africa. They played par­tic­u­larly well and took all the chances that were there,” coach Steve Hansen said.

“We’re ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed and there are ar­eas we have to work on. “Any­time you lose it hurts. The dress­ing room is som­bre, very quiet. But its im­por­tant we learn some­thing, oth­er­wise it’s waste of time.”

With time up, and two points in ar­rears, the All Blacks aimed a se­ries of for­ward drives at the line with­out re­ward, and then moved the ball wide where it was knocked on.

Cap­tain Kieran Read said there was talk on the field about a drop goal, but the op­tion to con­tinue the attack was cho­sen.

The All Blacks were on the board early when a neat flick pass from Beau­den Bar­rett put his brother Jordie over the line.

Ben and Aaron Smith com­bined down the right wing for the sec­ond try with Ben Smith get­ting around Aphiwe Dyan­tyi and draw­ing Wil­lie le Roux to give Aaron Smith an open run to the line.

Dyan­tyi and le Roux made im­me­di­ate amends to start the South African fight­back.

First, Ben Smith had to watch Dyan­tyi run in for the Spring­boks’ first try, then a botched quick throw in by Jordie Bar­rett was snapped up by le Roux for the sec­ond.

Mal­colm Marx ex­tended the lead to 21-12 with a try from a li­ne­out drive and when sus­tained pres­sure by the All Blacks pro­duced a try to Rieko Ioane, South Africa re­sponded with a penalty to Pollard on the stroke of half-time.

Im­me­di­ately af­ter the re­sump­tion, the Spring­boks ex­tended their lead to 31-17, cash­ing in when re­place­ment wing Ch­es­lin Kolbe picked off a pass from An­ton Lienert-Brown to Ioane and raced 40 me­tres to the line.

When the All Blacks nar­rowed the mar­gin to seven points with Rieko Ioane’s sec­ond try, South Africa coun­tered with a sec­ond try to Dyan­tyi.

With the Spring­bok de­fence frus­trat­ing New Zealand’s run­ning game, the home side re­sorted to for­ward power.

Codie Tay­lor and Ardie Savea pro­duced late tries from li­ne­out drives but nei­ther was con­verted.

Also:

Lyon took re­venge for a heavy de­feat in last season’s play­offs as they crushed Mont­pel­lier 55-13 on Satur­day in the open­ing match of the fourth round of France’s Top 14.

Lyon scored eight tries to one by the vis­i­tors to earn a bonus point and climb to sec­ond in the ta­ble.

The hosts dom­i­nated and were re­peat­edly able to ac­cel­er­ate their play as they avenged their 40-14 loss in May.

Mont­pel­lier, who fin­ished top of last season’s league ta­ble be­fore los­ing in the play­off fi­nal, re­mained mired in the lower half of the Top 14.

They wel­comed back sev­eral play­ers, no­tably France back row Louis Pi­camoles and scrum-half Aaron Cruden but pro­duced an unimag­i­na­tive dis­play short on imag­i­na­tion and re­ly­ing on power.

Af­ter wing Toby Arnold gave Lyon a 22nd-minute lead, Mont­pel­lier briefly lev­elled the scores when prop Nico van Rens­burg pounced on a Lyon mis­take. wing Noa Nakaitaci touched down for the hosts be­fore half-time and Lyon ran riot af­ter the break.

Scrum-half Bap­tiste Couil­loud, lock Hen­drik Roodt and sub­sti­tutes lock Eti­enne Oosthuizen and cen­tre Thibaut Re­gard scored four tries in 19 min­utes be­fore cen­tre Char­lie Na­gatai scored the last two.

South Africa’s Frans Mal­herbe (right) is tack­led by New Zealand’s Jordie Bar­rett dur­ing the Rugby Cham­pi­onship match be­tween the New Zealand All Blacks and South Africa at West­pac Sta­dium in Welling­ton on Sept 15. (AFP)

Lyon’s French lock Pa­trick So­bela (right), runs with the ball and scores dur­ing a French Top 14 rugby union match be­tween Lyon (LOU) and Mont­pel­lier (MHR) on Sept 15, at the Mat­mut Sta­dium in Lyon, cen­tral eastern France. (AFP)

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