16 -9 to the aussies
Australia had a great start to their Tri-Nations campaign with a 16-9 win over South Africa in Perth on Saturday.
Tries in each half from Lote Tuqiri and captain Stirling Mortlock secured victory for the Wallabies who have won fourth straight under new coach Robbie Deans. They thumped the French last month.
The boks who have played three bruising away matches, were going down to their second defeat of the tournament, coming down to earth after the historic 30-28 win over New Zealand in Dunedin last weekend.
We started well with Francois Steyn kicking a long-range penalty in the sixth minute to put the Boks 3-0 ahead, but proceeded to miss a drop goal and further penalty chance.
Tuqiri's try came against the run of play as he finished off a sweeping move following quick passes from Nathan Sharpe and Matt Giteau.
Australia took a further grip in the opening minutes of the second half as Mortlock powered over.
Giteau missed the conversion but extended the lead to 13-3 with a 51st minute penalty.
But only two minutes later, Mortlock left the field with a suspected concussion after butting heads with Schalk Burger and after Australia gave away a penalty in the scrum, Springboks flyhalf Butch James closed the gap to 13-6.
A further Steyn penalty with just over 10 minutes remaining led to a painful finish, but a Berrick Barnes drop goal in the last bloody minute made sure the Aussies were going to win.
The Boks play their three remaining Tri-Nations matches in South Africa -- the All Blacks in Cape Town on August 16 and then back-to back-matches against the Wallabies on August 23 in Durban and August 30 in Johannesburg.
South Africa Rugby homepage