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