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