Rather than rise to the top of the rugby championship ladder, the Wallabies were brutally brutalized by the Springboks in a spiteful 24-8 clash marred by an all-in brawl at Sydney’s newly constructed Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
After a potent win over South Africa in Adelaide last weekend, the Wallabies failed to capitalize on a rowdy home crowd and were thoroughly outplayed by a brutally impressive Springboks side.
19-year-old Springboks winger Canan Moodie scored a stunning try on the debut while opposite Makazola Mapimpi sparked a scuffle after grabbing Wallabies star Marika Koroibete by the throat after a try.
Springboks forward Eben Etzebeth (R) gets into some punches with Wallabies propman Allan Alaalatoa during Saturday’s fiery game
The Wallabies were crushed in the collision from the start and are yet to win two games in a row this season – much to the chagrin of skipper James Slipper, who has clearly taken it to heart.
“It just felt like we hadn’t played much rugby. We didn’t really take a shot,” he said after the game.
“We knew what kind of game it was going to be in these conditions, big set piece, big kicking game. They just threw bombs at us all night and we just got stuck at the end.
“We really wanted to build a bit of momentum. That’s probably why I’m so upset now. A game lost for our country,’ said a gutted slipper.
The Springboks scored twice on either side of the half, but it was Moodie’s first Test try that stole the show as he rose above Koroibete, plucked a towering boxkick from Jaden Hendrikse and ran away to score.
Springboks winger Canan Moodie scores a try on debut after an incredible towering take on Wallabies star Marika Koroibete
Mapimpi capped the win in the 72nd minute by ending a fine Springboks move from 30 yards but was stricken with sin after grabbing Korobete by the throat – sparking an all-in brawl.
There appeared to be a degree of revenge after the Wallaby winger smashed him over the touchline with a monster shot as he attempted to score in the Adelaide Test.
Eben Etzebeth caught a case of crazy eyes and thankfully avoided being booked himself a yellow card after a heated argument during the brawl with Wallabies propsman Allan Alaalatoa.
Makazole Mapimpi (above) tussles with Marika Koroibete after scoring a try for the Sprinboks on Saturday night
It was one of many skirmishes that night and Springboks captain Siya Kolisi said it wasn’t the way his side should be approaching the game.
“It’s a bit disappointing and we definitely don’t want to encourage that kind of behavior. We have millions of species around the world watching us,” he said in a post-game press conference.
“It happens every now and then and I thought the referee handled it well.”
Eben Etzebeth (center, green jersey) was cheered on in an all-in brawl
Manager Jacques Nienaber, who orchestrated South Africa’s first win in Australia in nine years, said the performance was a big step up from the defeat in Adelaide.
“Obviously we created a couple of opportunities last week and I thought we didn’t take them,” he told reporters after the win.
“That was better tonight and obviously we weren’t happy with the intensity we started the game with last week, especially in the first 20-25 minutes… that was a big step up today.”
His Wallabies counterpart certainly wasn’t so pleased after Australia’s forward team were bullied on several occasions.
Smashed Wallabies players littered the field after the team’s loss to the Springboks on Saturday night in Sydney
The Wallabies’ insane inconsistency last year was something Dave Rennie said simply needed to be improved.
“I don’t know about one (step) forward, two (steps) back… it’s tough competition, you have to be at your best every week to be in with a sniffle,” he said after the game.
“Clearly that was a big part of our mantra, we have an understanding that we’re playing for something bigger than ourselves and there’s no lack of motivation and certainly no lack of faith.
“We have to win those key moments and we have to do a hell of a lot better on the fundamentals.”
Tom Wright (left) fends off Makazole Mapimpi and attempts to offload during Australia’s defeat
That being said, injury strikes didn’t help Australia; Center hunter Paisami and five-eighth Noah Lolesio lost to headbutts, while impact bench prop Taniela Tupou never entered the fight after suffering a calf injury during warm-up.
Slipper had no excuses, however, and the ‘injured’ Wallabies skipper said he gathered the squad on the field after the game to make sure everyone understood how disappointing the loss was – and used it as motivation.
“I just wanted the guys to realize how much it hurts and hold on to it and let that drive them into the future,” he said after the game.
“This one must hurt a lot, I want the lads to hurt because yes South Africa was good but I just felt like we didn’t really play much rugby at all.
“That they win the clash really hurts me,” Slipper said.
James Slipper rallies the Wallabies squad onto the field after the loss to ensure the team can use the loss as motivation
Many rugby fans were scathing not only at the Wallabies’ performance but also at the start-stop nature of the game, with referee Ben O’Keeffe awarding a penalty almost every three minutes.
“A game like this keeps Wallabies fans away from the sport – let alone casual viewers. Interruptions every 20 seconds. Constantly kicking a referee who can’t keep the game flowing,” one fan wrote on Twitter.
One prominent journalist said the springboks had “beaten (the) wallabies into submission”, while another simply wrote that Australia’s performance was “pathetic”.
All four two-part rugby championship series completed to date have ended 1-1 despite being played in one country rather than home and away; in what has quickly become an upside-down tournament.
The Wallabies will now enter their two-Test Bledisloe Cup series with all four teams down to 2-2 records.
They need to break their 20-year Bledisloe Cup drought to win the title, but Slipper begged his teammates to get back to work, determined to make history.
Pete Samu scores a try for Australia at the end of the Wallabies’ loss to the Springboks
“It’s that easy. We’re going to Bledisloe now, we’re going to have two tough games ahead of us. We’ll pick you up. We’ve got a good group here and we’re going to get into it,’ said a determined slipper.
Australia host New Zealand at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium for the first game on September 15 before heading over the moat to face the Kiwis at Eden Park on September 24.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-11177369/Wallabies-Springboks-spiteful-Rugby-Championship-encounter-marred-brawl.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Wallabies go down against Springboks in a spiteful rugby championship match marred by an all-in brawl