The Tri Nations tournament continues to roll on, and though the All Blacks have the title sewn up, there are still a few games to be played. Most notable of course is the battle for the Mandela Trophy between South Africa and Australia. Saturday’s game could have seen the plate return to Australia for the first time since 2008. While plenty would have been predicting a blowout in favour of the Springboks last season, this season has seen two very different teams competing for the Tri Nations title.
This was obvious when the two teams clashed in Brisbane in their first match against each other. While the Wallabies went into the game as underdogs, they emerged on the top. Thanks to a much more physical and dominating style of play, the Wallabies were able to take a convincing 30-13 win over their South African rivals. Players and fans alike were going into their second match on Saturday with high hopes as the Wallabies were looking like a winning team for the first time in nearly 50 years.
Though match two was going to be a different story for the Wallabies, as they would be facing the Springboks on their home turf this time around. They haven’t had a win on South African ground since 1963. Nevertheless, things looked promising as Australia hit the ground running. They started the game off strong, going up 10-7 with three tries in the first ten minutes of the game. Even going into the halftime break, the Wallabies were up by four points and still feeling optimistic about their chances of securing their first win ever at Pretoria.
Unfortunately, the momentum slowed by the third half. Thanks to poor handling and lineout work, the Australian team soon lost their lead. They was unable to retain possession, which cost them dearly. Francois Steyn scored a try shortly after the 49th minute to put the Springboks ahead 34-31. Steyn further increased the leading margin with a penalty goal, which was followed by a final try from JP Pietersen. It was a major turnaround for the Springboks as they have been struggling throughout this Tri Nations tournament. They went on to take the 44-31 win, making this their first win of the series.
Though this is the Wallabies third consecutive loss in this tournament, they’re not losing hope. They’ll get a chance for redemption on September 4 when they take on the Springboks at Vodacom Park in Bloemfontein. Stay tuned for a full preview of the game before it takes place, and don’t forget to get to Ladbrokes.com.au to check out the odds closer to game time.
In the mean time, check out the early odds posted at Ladbrokes.com.au on the Rugby World Cup. They’re offering both outright winner and group odds on the upcoming rugby betting event. New Zealand is currently listed as the 1.95 favourites. It’s quite a margin between them South Africa who are next on the list at 4.90 odds. Australia is third at 5.25. Check it out to take advantage of these early odds. It could end up paying off big come game time.