South Africa made 169-tackles in their 23-12 win over Australia in Round Five of the Rugby Championship at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
The victory kept alive the Springboks’ slim title hopes and ensured they would finish in the top two of the competition for the first time since 2014.
After completing a whopping 291-tackles against the All Blacks in their astounding 36-34 Wellington win a fortnight ago, the Boks were under pressure to maintain a similar standard without ball in hand this week. Rassie Erasmus’ charges’ display in PE would doubtless give them a massive boost as the head into the final Test of the 2018 edition against New Zealand in Pretoria.
The match would begin in the worst possible fashion for the Australians and Kurtley Beale. Starting again at flyhalf, the 29-year-old threw an audacious skip-pass just moments after kick-off which was intercepted by Aphiwe Dyanti, who strolled several-odd meters before diving over for the hosts.
The Bok forwards were bossing their counterparts at the gainline, and their dominance would eventually tell when Handre Pollard broke the line before neatly flicking inside to Faf de Klerk who went over for their second.
Michael Cheika’s men narowed the deficit against the run of play after first Reece