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South Africa 28-8 Australia, Rugby Championship
Springboks too good for Australia
September 28, 2013
Date/Time: Sep 28, 2013, 17:00 local, 15:00 GMT
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
South Africa 28 - 8 Australia
Attendance: 46052  Half-time: 23 - 3
Tries: Kirchner, le Roux, Strauss
Cons: Steyn 2
Pens: Steyn 3
Tries: Feauai-Sautia
Pens: Leali'ifano
Australia's Nic White tackles South Africa's Zane Kirchner, South Africa v Australia, Newlands, Cape Town, September 28, 2013
Zane Kirchner notched a first half try for the victorious Springboks
© Getty Images
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South Africa set up a Rugby Championship title showdown against New Zealand next weekend with a 28-8 victory over Australia at Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday.

Match Analysis by ESPNscrum's Graham Jenkins

  • Man of the Match: It is two years since Fourie du Preez started a game for the Springboks but you could hardly tell with the classy scrum-half a prominent figure throughout the game. His vision, distribution and experience are key parts of the Boks' armoury and they will be hoping for a repeat performance from their No.9 when the All Blacks come to play next weekend.
  • Key Moment: Flip van der Merwe's yellow card in the closing moments of the first half put the Boks on the back foot and from that point they struggled to regain the momentum that threatened to blow the Wallabies away. As a result they only notched one more try and missed out on what could be a valuable bonus point.
  • Hero of the Game: Boks winger Willie le Roux may not have clocked up as many metres with ball in hand as some of his team-mates but his all-round industry and his superb finishing skills earn him the nod here.
  • Villain of the Game: Springboks lock Flip van der Merwe can consider himself very lucky to have escaped with just a yellow card for leading with an elbow as he looked to make a tackle. He can probably expect a call from the citing commissioner for what should arguably have been a red card while his team-mate Jannie du Plessis may also find himself in trouble for clawing at the face of Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore.
  • Talking Point: Regardless of the All Blacks' result against Argentina later today, the stage is now set for a title showdown between the world's two best sides - South Africa and New Zealand - in Johannesburg next weekend. Can the Boks avenge their defeat in Auckland and deny the All Blacks back-to-back Rugby Championship titles?
  • Play of the Game: Zane Kirchner's try for South Africa was a wonderful sweeping move but our vote goes to Australia for Quade Cooper's exquisite cross kick that found debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia who then evaded a couple of tackle before touching down for a score.

The Springboks stormed into a 20-3 lead after just 20 minutes to immediately kill off any threat from a Wallabies side desperate to finish a forgettable season on a high. Adriaan Strauss and Zane Kirchner touched down in the immediate onslaught but crucially the Springboks failed to find the extra two tries they needed to secure a bonus-point success and make life easier ahead of their do-or-die clash with New Zealand in Johannesburg next weekend.

The All Blacks can move five points clear at the top with full points against Argentina on Saturday night - a result that would mean they need only deny South Africa a bonus-point win next week to retain the title.

South Africa had to wait until the 71st minute for their third try, Willie le Roux willing himself over, but a fourth was not forthcoming to leave a slightly bitter taste despite lifting the Mandela Shield. Australia at least ended a mostly toothless display, that did improve after half-time, with a late try to debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia.

The Wallabies arrived in South Africa on the back of the controversy which saw James O'Connor left at home and looking to build on their first win under new boss Ewen McKenzie when they beat the Pumas in Perth last time out.

They were first on the board when Christian Leali'ifano steered home a penalty but from there South Africa took full control. After Morne Steyn, who kicked a match haul of 15 points, levelled, front-rower Strauss bundled over for the first try on 13 minutes when Quade Cooper attempted to intercept rather than hold his position on the line. Steyn converted and was soon sizing up another when Jean de Villiers' cut-out pass caught the Wallabies short on numbers out wide. Le Roux made the break and fed the ball inside for Kirchner to race over.

South Africa had enjoyed 82 per cent of possession, and most of the territory, at that point and the game was virtually done and dusted when Steyn kicked over another penalty to make it 20-3.

The Springboks were effectively trapping Australia deep in their own half, with the visitors consigned to kicking the ball away to gain any relief. Matters got worse, though, when Michael Hooper was yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle that sent Eben Etzbeth flying head over heels and prompted a scuffle the TMO was content to ignore. Bryan Habana was denied by Adam Ashley-Cooper's try-saving tackle in the corner but Steyn kicked over a penalty to send his side into the break 23-3 up.

Flip van der Merwe did see yellow just before the break, after he led with an elbow that caught Joseph Tomane on the chin, and Australia sent on veteran Will Genia at half-time to try to make use of their man advantage after the break. It failed to work as the match petered out, with the Springboks taking their foot off the accelerator.

Duane Vermuelen and Sitaleki Timani both spent time in the sin bin and it was only with nine minutes left that South Africa revived hope of a bonus point, when Le Roux forced his way over in the corner. It was Australia, though, who got the fourth try when Cooper's cross-field kick, after a quickly-taken line-out, caught the Springboks out for Feauai-Sautia to stumble over.

Australia's performance, however, will no doubt raise concerns Down Under they could become Argentina's first victim since they joined the Rugby Championship when they travel to South America next week.

South Africa's Adriaan Strauss dives over to score at Newlands © Getty Images
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South Africa were far too good for Australia (video available only in Australia)
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