Australia v South Africa: Rugby Championship Test – live!

Key events

22 mins: Pollard misses his second penalty! That one was much more straightforward but again he drags his effort low and left. Very costly from the visiting No 10.

21 mins: Attacking scrum to South Africa on the left and they earn a penalty before de Klerk spins the ball infield. The drive doesn’t get far before play is called back for the shot at goal.

20 mins: I did not expect such an open and entertaining start.

18 mins: The Springboks keep pressing and finally gain good attacking territory before a turnover halts momentum. Australia boot clear but it’s returned with interest by Mapimpi. His incursion is augmented by a Nché’s chase following a dink over the top. Hodge and McReight are then forced into desperate tackles as the Springboks look destined to score, but as the inevitable begins to materialises de Klerk is penalised for a high clearout tackle and the Wallabies survive.

17 mins: South Africa are growing into the contest and even put a couple of phases together in midfield, utilising Mapimpi’s dash, before the obligatory kick in behind is dabbed down for a line drop-out by Koroibete.

15 mins: It’s taken 14 minutes but finally South Africa have a point-scoring opportunity. From a sloppy penalty just inside Australia’s half Handré Pollard has a sight of three points but he absolutely butchers his penalty attempt.

14 mins: The Wallabies can’t capitalise and again almost as soon as they lose possession South Africa try to kick in behind towards the corners. Good scramble defence from Australia snuffs out any danger.

13 mins: Malcolm Mark gets an early taste of the action while Dweba gets patched up. He’s part of a Springbok pack that’s penalised for pushing too early at the first scrum. Australia kick early and benefit from an awkward bounce that wrongfoots Willemse and forces South Africa into a hurried clearance.

11 mins: A better attacking lineout from the Wallabies but it’s soon turned over at ground level. Immediately South Africa kick in behind Koroibete but the big winger saves the possible 50-22 and returns with interest to halfway. Superb defensive work. The Springboks are then penalised for failing to deliver their first lineout in a straight line. Now, what will the first scrum of the day reveal?

10 mins: Australia get away with their first lineout throw and the forwards get to work in the corridor just inside the 22. It’s a drive that lacks precision and the Springboks muscle the ball back and kick clear to touch.

9 mins: White box kicks to halfway, Koroibete absolutely hammers the chasing tackle and seconds later Australia have a breakdown penalty. This is phenomenal from the Wallabies.

PENALTY! Australia 8-0 South Africa (Lolesio, 7)

Australia’s dream start continues to improve. South Africa haven’t turned up yet.

6 mins: Australia are determined to keep the ball alive in open play, but they risk inviting the proactive South African defence onto them. Following the drop-out, play stalls on the 22 and the Springboks look set to force a turnover, but when the ball goes to ground there’s a penalty advantage called and the Wallabies have another point-scoring opportunity.

4 mins: Australia continue their hot start with Ikitau driving the ball hard out of defence. An exchange of kicks favours the home side thanks to some fierce defensive pressure and the busy Nic White again gets to work in midfield. A kick in behind secures territory and the Springboks are happy to concede a drop out. This is a fast start from the Wallabies.

CONVERTED TRY! Australia 7-0 South Africa (McReight, 2)

Australia contest the kick-off and win the ball back on South Africa’s 22. They get to work cycling through the phases early and Valetini makes ground down the right wing. Fainga’a then busts the line and is within a sniff of a try. White is up in support quickly, gets to the ruck, two passes later and McReight squirms through two tacklers to cross next to the posts! What a start from the Wallabies!

Lolesio opens his account from the tee with ease.


We’re underway at Adelaide Oval…

The Welcome to Country and anthems are superbly delivered and observed. Watching Siya Kolisi close his eyes, throw his head back, and belt out Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika is a special sight.

And now comes James Slipper at the front a line of Wallabies in their famous gold jerseys, trimmed by green shorts and socks.

Here come the Springboks, led out onto Adelaide Oval by the inspirational Siya Kolisi. South Africa are wearing their traditional green jerseys, white shorts, and green socks.

It is dry, warm, and sunny at the majestic Adelaide Oval this afternoon. A northerly breeze is receding but conditions are not perfectly still. It’s the first time the Wallabies have played at the venue since 2004.

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie looks on before The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks at Adelaide Oval.
Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie looks on before The Rugby Championship match between the Australian Wallabies and the South African Springboks at Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Paul Williams from New Zealand is the man in charge of today’s contest. He was in Australia recently, taking care of the final Test of England’s tour in Sydney.

Referee Paul Williams.
Referee Paul Williams. Photograph: James Gourley/AAP

There was collateral damage in the Wallaby camp after the trip to South America. Defence coach Matt Taylor has been let go with veteran Brumbies forwards coach Laurie Fisher returning to the fold. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience which will only benefit our playing group,” Rennie said.

Laurie Fisher with Fraser McReight earlier this week.
Laurie Fisher with Fraser McReight earlier this week. Photograph: Matt Turner/AAP

In the first match of the day on Adelaide Oval, New Zealand’s Black Ferns ran out 22-14 winners over Australia’s Wallaroos.

Ruby Tui of the Black Ferns runs the ball during the O'Reilly Cup match between the Australian Wallaroos and the New Zealand Black Ferns at Adelaide Oval.
Ruby Tui of the Black Ferns runs the ball during the O’Reilly Cup match between the Australian Wallaroos and the New Zealand Black Ferns at Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Dave Rennie has had a word with the host broadcaster during the warm-up. “It has been a tough two weeks waiting for redemption,” Rennie said. “We have to be far more clinical than we were, and we gift wrapped a couple of tries to them. We have to eliminate errors.”

He was then asked about the challenge facing stand-in fly-half Noah Lolesio. “He is a good young man and played a lot of footy for us, played against the All Blacks, the English, the French. He is in a good mind set and we expect him to control the game and implement the plan.”

And here are the details of South Africa’s defeat last time out to the All Blacks.

Angus Fontaine ran the rule over the Wallabies after their capitulation to the Pumas.

South Africa XV

Two changes from Jacques Nienaber with star scrum-half Faf de Klerk returning from concussion and Warrick Gelant replacing the injured Jesse Kriel on the wing. And there’s intrigue on the bench too with the trademark 6-2 ‘bomb squad’ shaken up in favour of an extra back.

“It doesn’t have a massive impact,” replacement lock Vincent Koch told reporters. “Each one of the Bomb Squad has a certain role, so if it is a 6-2 split or 5-3, we all know what to do when we get onto the field. Once we get a chance to go on the pitch we just have to perform and keep the intensity where the starters left off.”

Australia XV

Dave Rennie has made six changes following Australia’s record 48-17 loss to Argentina. Reece Hodge has captured plenty of attention for his recall at fullback with the Wallabies benefiting from his long kicking game, while Noah Lolesio will have a major job controlling the tempo from five-eighth.

An indication of Rennie’s strategy can be seen on the bench with only two backs selected. The home forwards are going to be put their paces against the mighty Springboks, with the inexperienced back-row in particular – without skipper Hooper – looking an area of vulnerability.


Jonathan Howcroft

Jonathan Howcroft

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of Australia vs South Africa in round three of the Rugby Championship. Kick-off at Adelaide Oval is 3pm (3.30pm AEST).

Both teams head into today’s clash on the back of pretty chastening defeats, knowing another poor performance could significantly damage their spring campaigns.

The Wallabies have the most to prove after an understrength touring party were hammered in Argentina. That result pus the Pumas in the unlikely position of topping the table after two rounds.

“That Argentinian tour was one of the toughest I’ve been on,” stand-in skipper James Slipper told reporters this week. “We had plenty of blokes drop out of the team after it was named so there was a fair bit of adversity there but from adversity, you grow stronger and that’s where I’ve pushed the team.”

Dave Rennie welcomes back some familiar faces for back-to-back clashes with the Springboks, but he is still without crucial players, including skipper Michael Hooper (personal reasons), powerful centre Samu Kerevi (knee), and playmaker Quade Cooper (Achilles). The remainder of this Championship will be a major test of Australia’s depth.

“After a tough two weeks in Argentina we’re extremely pleased to be able to welcome a few men back into the mob,” Rennie said during the week. “To have their experience on deck will be invaluable in what’s going to be a massive challenge coming up against South Africa two weeks in a row.”

The Springboks will start as favourites but their last victory over the Wallabies in Australia was back in 2013, and Australia won the last two head-to-heads in 2021. On top of that they shipped 35 points at home last time out to the under pressure All Blacks.

However, their methodical game plan of tactical kicking, territorial ascendancy, and forward domination looks tailor made to counteract a Wallabies side eager to run.

“We know South Africa are going to come with a big set-piece focus, trying to really bash us up in the middle and they’ll kick a lot so it’s about nullifying their kicking game,” Slipper said.

As always there’s plenty to chew over before kick-off. If you want to be a part of it you get in touch via email or tweet me @JPHowcroft if that’s easier.

Australia’s first modern international at Adelaide Oval came at the 2003 World Cup. The Wallabies hammered Namibia 142-0 and every second of action is free to enjoy, if you’re into that sort of thing.


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