South Africa get away with it

South Africa squeezed out a 22-19 victory over Australia in the first match of the Tri-Nations after overcoming a determined Wallaby defence.

Australia built a good lead just after half time, and then managed to withstand a barrage of Springbok attacks, frequently turning the ball over to get out of jail.  There was a hint of irony after Australia won the ball back on their own try-line after 20-odd phases, attempted to clear their lines only to find Francois Steyn – he walloped a 50-metre dropped goal to level the scores.

It then looked inevitable that South Africa would sneak it, and up stepped Steyn again to win the game.  I believe they deserved it – Australia played well, but not were not exciting to watch, and while Pierre Spies gave away too many penalties (and indeed was sin-binned), he led a ferocious back row unit that is surely the best in the world.

Gregan looks dejected