Home comfort for South Africa
August 26, 2010
Percy Montgomery and his Springbok colleagues celebrate their victory at Loftus in 2005 © Getty Images
After their meeting in Brisbane five weeks ago, South Africa and Australia will experience a role reversal in historical terms this weekend.
The Springboks had never before beaten the Wallabies in Brisbane and their ignominious run of defeats was extended to seven by a 30-13 loss at the Suncorp Stadium. However, on Saturday, it is they who will have the weight of history behind them.
The Boks have won their four previous meetings with the Aussies at Loftus Versfeld. The two sides only met once in Pretoria before the end of apartheid, in July 1963, with South Africa triumphing 14-3, their tries coming courtesy of Tommy Bedford and Gert Cilliers.
The Wallabies did not return to Pretoria for another 34 years and they must have felt as if they should have stayed at home. Australia were obliterated, going down 61-22 as the Springboks, the then world champions, ran in a staggering eight tries.
The Wallabies proved far more competitive upon their return to Loftus in 2001 but they still came out on the wrong end of a 20-15 scoreline, with South Africa captain Bobby Skinstad scoring the only try of the game.
Australia most recent visit came five years ago and again they fell short, Percy Montgomery contributing 14 points as the Boks claimed a hard-fought 22-16 win. The Wallabies have not won at altitude in South Africa since 1963 - when they picked up a narrow win at Ellis Park.
All-time record: South Africa won 40, Australia won 28, drawn 1
Biggest winning margin: SA: 45, 53-8 at Johannesburg, 2008; Aus: 49, 49-0 at Brisbane, 2006
Highest score: SA: 61 (61-22) at Pretoria, 1997; Aus: 49 (49-0) at Brisbane, 2006
Most tries: SA: 8 (53-8) at Johannesburg, 2008, (61-22) at Pretoria,1997, (28-3) at Johannesburg, 1961; Aus: 6 (49-0) at Brisbane, 2006
Longest winning sequence: SA: 7 (1953-1963) and (1969-1971); Aus: 4 (1999-2000)
Most points (individual) : SA: Percy Montgomery 140; Aus: Stirling Mortlock 150
Most tries (individual) : SA: Breyton Paulse 7; Aus: Matt Giteau 9
Most points in a Test: SA: 26 Jannie de Beer at Pretoria, 1997; Aus: 29 Stirling Mortlock at Melbourne, 2000
Click Here for South Africa's Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for Australia's Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for a record of all South Africa v Australia matches courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for the Australia v South Africa record at Loftus Versfeld courtesy of Statsguru
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown