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September 6, 2009

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Home » Sports » Rugby

Wallabies steal Boks' thunder

AUSTRALIA stunned South Africa 21-6 at Brisbane's Lang Park yesterday to stall the world champion's bid to wrap up the Tri-Nations.

The Australians ended a frustrating run of four straight losses in the series with an unexpected but deserving win over the previously unbeaten Springboks.

Outside center Adam Ashley-Cooper and teenage fullback James O'Connor both scored late second-half tries to seal the win for the Wallabies, who had three earlier tries disallowed.

Flyhalf Matt Giteau chipped in with two penalties, a conversion and a drop goal while South Africa's points all came from the boot of flyhalf Morne Steyn, who landed a drop goal and a penalty.

The result breathed new life into a championship that had seemed certain to go to South Africa after it won its first four matches of the series to lead New Zealand by nine points.

Yesterday's 15-point loss has suddenly opened the way for the All Blacks to pinch the title if they win their last two matches and get at least one more bonus point than the South Africans.

The Australians were already out of the running for the title after losing three of their four matches.

They led 9-6 after a tryless first half that was far more entertaining than the scoreline suggested, then piled on 12 unanswered points in the second term.

Both sides had early tries disallowed after they threw the ball around and succeeded in punching holes in the opposition defense.

Australia winger Lachie Turner looked to have scored in the right corner after scrumhalf Will Genia put him in the clear with a clever dart down the blindside but the video referee ruled he had lost the ball when he was hit by a diving tackle from Bryan Habana.

The Springboks thought they had scored a try when flanker Heinrich Brussow crashed over just before the break but English referee Wayne Barnes ruled the last pass from scrumhalf Fourie du Preez was forward. Australia had another two tries disallowed by the video referee early in the second half as both teams defended desperately.


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