Wal­la­bies re­warded for brav­ery as des­per­ate last ef­fort sees Wal­la­bies break down Boks’ de­fence

CityPress - - Sport -

evita Kuridrani scored a last-gasp try that re­quired some de­lib­er­a­tion from the tele­vi­sion of­fi­cial as the Wal­la­bies fought back from what at one stage was a 13-point deficit to clinch an ex­cit­ing 24-20 win over the Spring­boks in their Castle Lager Rugby clash in Bris­bane, Aus­tralia, yesterday.

Kuridrani forced the ball down on the line as the Wal­la­bies put in a des­per­ate last ef­fort to break down a de­ter­mined Bok de­fen­sive sys­tem with a sus­tained build-up off the last move­ment of the game.

They were trail­ing by three points af­ter an at­tempted equal­is­ing penalty had been missed, and the win will be seen as a re­ward for their brav­ery in try­ing for the win rather than the draw as skip­per Stephen Moore es­chewed another kick­able penalty awarded shortly af­ter that.

As a first test match for both teams in this World Cup year, the con­test de­liv­ered in terms of qual­ity and ex­cite­ment.

Both sides will feel they learnt a lot from a closely fought con­test that looked like it was head­ing South Africa’s way at the hour mark when they ap­peared to be well in con­trol.

That was af­ter a su­perb try on de­but from young out­side cen­tre Jesse Kriel that put the Boks 20-7 up.

At that point, the Boks were get­ting enough pos­ses­sion and play­ing the ball in the right ar­eas of the field, and sev­eral ques­tions were be­ing an­swered pos­i­tively.

Kriel was one of those pos­i­tives with him and Damian de Al­lende con­firm­ing that they were the busi­ness and could do the job to­gether if reg­u­lar cap­tain Jean de Vil­liers does not re­cover suf­fi­ciently from his knee re­con­struc­tion to make it to the World Cup.

Kriel and De Al­lende were part of a mas­sive de­fen­sive ef­fort and also showed neat touches on at­tack.

Per­haps De Al­lende should be more pre­cise in his de­ci­sion mak­ing when he has ball in hand, and a try-scor­ing op­por­tu­nity might have been wasted when a skip pass from Ruan Pien­aar from a de­fen­sive scrum set him free up the right flank.

But he didn’t use the un­marked JP Pi­etersen, who was out­side him.

That was dur­ing a first half that the Boks shaded, even though they lost skip­per Vic­tor Mat­field with what looked like a ham­string in­jury half­way through it.

But while the Boks did lack some of their usual au­thor­ity in the line-outs when the Wal­la­bies came back at them af­ter half-time, Mat­field’s ab­sence did an­swer another ques­tion.

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