South Africa 35 - 17 Australia - Match Report & Highlights

Tanya Simon
July 20, 2019

The Rugby Championship, usually a two-round competition also involving Argentina and New Zealand, has been shortened to one round because the Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20.

New Zealand face South Africa in Wellington on Saturday 27 July and Argentina play Australia in Brisbane the same day.

The Ellis Park Test on Saturday is Slipper's first since December 2016 and with the Wallabies front-row stocks decimated by injury, he will carry a heavy load against a burly Boks outfit who pride themselves on their set piece.

The 1995 World Cup-winning team had only one black, winger Chester Williams, and the 2007 champions just two, wingers JP Pietersen and Bryan Habana.

Australia coach Michael Cheika came under serious pressure for his job last season.

Dumped by Rugby Australia after a string of controversial social media posts, Folau will play no part in the Wallabies' immediate future, young gun Tom Banks instead given the nod at fullback.

Cheika is trying out a center combination that offers a different approach to previous Wallabies lineups.

Samu Kerevi will win plenty of metres up the middle with his hard-charging runs.

White was the backup scrumhalf in the 2015 Rugby Championship, but instead of going to the Rugby World Cup he went to Montpellier in France then Exeter in England.

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The selection of Tom Banks at fullback is an admirable call.

As always, Australia needs to match the Boks up front if it's to make any progress.

The tactical substitute of Kepu for Tupou and the other injury enforced after James Slipper copped an accidental knee to the head that saw Harry Johnson-Holmes make his debut.

It appears to be an uphill task for the Wallabies at Ellis Park, where they haven't won since 1963. A lot has been said about the rugby in Australia in the last six months and where we want to show what Australian rugby is about is on the field.

"We know a lot of people aren't giving us much of a chance this season but I believe in our players", Cheika said.

History was on South Africa's side heading into the clash having lost just once in the last 10 meetings in Johannesburg.

Scrum-half Jantjies capped an excellent debut with his second as Australia began to wilt in the Highveld air, sniping around the side of the ruck as the visitors left the smallest of gaps for him to burst through.

Erasmus reassured everyone that he has "a specific plan" to balance the demands of a back-to-back Rugby Championship and World Cup.

South Africa: 15-Warrick Gelant, 14-Sbu Nkosi, 13-Jesse Kriel, 12-Andre Esterhuizen, 11-Makazole Mapimpi, 10-Elton Jantjies, 9-Herschel Jantjies, 8-Francois Louw, 7-Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6-Rynhardt Elstadt, 5-Lood de Jager, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Trevor Nyakane, 2-Bongi Mbonambi, 1-Tendai Mtawarira. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Taniela Tupou, Rob Simmons, Jack Dempsey, Will Genia, Matt To'omua, Kurtley Beale.

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