The Springboks came out firing to take an early 17 point lead in the 4th Tri Nations test against Australia at Sydney's Olympic Stadium on Saturday night. Perhaps the South Africans were riled after a week of being slated in the Australian Press for turning up without their main stars such as Burger and Matfield, for they entered the stadium heads up and hearts ablaze. By scoring two tries in the opening ten with the second of their tries - a trademark intercept by Breyton Paulse - they sparked a worried murmur throughout the Australian crowd.
At this point however the Boks could not capitalise on their lead and the Australians fought in their usual gutsy style scoring a couple of penalties and three tries - the best a lovely piece of back work off a lineout in the Boks 22 allowing Mark Gerard to cross. From here the Australians then took over the tempo of the match and looked clearly the team in ascendancy.
The second half of this match was boring and lacked the blood and intensity of the previous Tri Nations tests this year. With two Boks sinbinned in the final stage (Botha and some other dude I can't remember) the game was handed to the Ozzies on a plate by NZ referee Paul Honiss - and they closed the bokke out to eventually win the match: 25 - 17.
The Australians can be happy with another win that takes them to the head of the table. The Boks can be happy that their B Side gave the Wallabies a scare. The All Blacks won't be happy with themselves at all until they can rack up a win against both these teams on home turf in the next two weeks.