Australian Rugby Union fans are celebrating all over the nation on the heels of the most recent Tri Nations match. The Wallabies made history over the weekend by taking their first win at altitude since 1963. It was a stunning finish that had fans on both sides of the field on the edge of their seats until the very end.
While the Wallabies suffered a big loss to the Springboks just a week before, they showed no signs of intimidation. They kicked off this third and final battle much the same way as the week before: perfectly. With a dominating performance from minute one, the Australian team scored four tries in the first 17 minutes. Thanks to their quick passes and ability to utilise their outside backs, the Wallabies were able to pick apart the struggling Springboks defence.
The first half finished with the Wallabies up by 25-points. It was looking like the Australians had secured the win, but the game took yet another familiar turn. As in match number two between these two national teams, the Springboks returned from the half break rejuvenated and determined to fight back. With a second half rally, the Springboks were able to not only fight back, but also take the lead. Three tries from Jaque Fourie, Gurthro Steenkamp, and Jean De Villiers put the South African team up 36-31.
So, staring down another crushing defeat, the Wallabies ramped things up. Rather than let the win slip through their fingers they fought back. It created a nail biting back and fourth between the two teams that had everyone on their feet in Vodacom Park. It wasn’t until the last minutes that Kurtley Beale was able to secure the win for the Aussies. Beale took a penalty goal – the last kick of the game – and took the 41-39 victory.
The Springboks will now finish the Tri Nations tournament in last place, which is a far fall for the team that were champions just a year ago. The Wallabies’ win – their first at altitude in nearly 50 years – gives them a second place finish. It will also see the return of the Mandela Challenge Plate to Australia for the first time since 2008.
Each team’s Tri Nations position has been determined, but the tournament is not quite over. The Wallabies will now go on to face the All Blacks in their third and final match to finish things off for another year. With such fantastic momentum behind the Aussie team, could a win over the very talented All Blacks be in the cards? The game is set for September 11. Stay tuned to FootyBet.com.au for a full preview closer to game time, and then get to Ladbrokes.com.au for all of the most generous odds on the match.