Australia thrash South Africa in Tri Nations rugby match

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Australia has bounced back from their 12-32 loss against the All Blacks a week ago, to defeat the South African Springboks 49-0 in the second round of the 2006 Tri Nations rugby union series. Australia scored six tries, two to inside centre Matt Giteau, as they recorded their largest win over South Africa. It was the first time a team had been held scoreless in the Tri Nations since South Africa's 28-0 loss to the All Blacks in Dunedin in 1999, and the margin was one point shy of the Springboks' worst defeat in their history, a 53-3 rout by England at Twickenham in 2002.

The Wallabies made four changes to their starting lineup that lost to the All Blacks the week before. Hooker Jeremy Paul, No. 8 Scott Fava and inside center Giteau were all moved into the starting lineup, with Rocky Elsom moving to blindside flanker. Queensland prop Rodney Blake was expected to return for the Wallabies, but failed to recover from injury in time. The Springboks, playing their first Tri Nations match of the season, introduced two un-capped players; Bulls winger Akona Ndugane and No. 8 Pierre Spies.

The first points of the match were scored by Stephen Larkham, who landed an early drop goal for Australia. Greg Holmes, Paul and Giteau all scored tries in the first half. Giteau grabbed a double, scoring his second try in the second half, along with fullback Chris Latham, and replacement lock Mark Chisholm. In total, Stirling Mortlock racked up 18 points through conversions of tries and penalty goals. The match was played at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium, in mostly fine conditions, though the second half was covered in light rain. Next week South Africa will meet the All Blacks.

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