Os du Randt turned Australian strong man Rodzilla into Cinderella as the tourists flopped in South Africa for the sixth successive year.
The Boks won 24-16 but the humiliation inflicted on their front row was more emphatic than an eight point scoreline. If we think Jake White’s got problems heading into the two test series against England, then John Connolly would be feeling suicidal about the prospect of Australia’s four tests in the northern hemisphere.
The Australians don’t have a tighthead or loosehead of the necessary quality and they’ve got too many squad old boys who no longer see any value in a dog fight. To beat the Boks at Ellis Park the Australians had to dominate in the tackle and at the breakdown. They never gave themselves a chance and the defensive effort on Fourie du Preez and Breyton Paulse as they crossed for tries was the stuff of yellow-bellies.
Du Preez showed urgency to take the quick tap and go, but the feeble tackle of Wycliff Palu and his teammates transformed Du Preez into a Lomu-like machine. Even more humiliating, if you wear the Aussie yellow, was Paulse showing enough strength to beat off three woeful tackles and score.
The biggest score of the day came at scrum time when Du Randt tortured the fantasy world that Blake lives in. Rodzilla may have a ring to it, but his scrumming had as much menace as Cinderella on the dance floor and Du Randt ensured pumpkin hour came very early for the fat man formerly known as Rodzilla.
Du Randt’s presence is immense and with the Bok scrum anchored and forceful the Boks eased to their most emphatic victory since hammering Scotland in Durban. It was a typical South African performance at Ellis Park, but for once we could talk of a South African team with more innovation than Australia and one that showed greater enterprise with the ball.
The build-up to Paulse’s try was quality and the Boks were very comfortable in offloading in the tackle as the powder-puff Australians fell off tackles. Australian rugby columnist Spiros Zavos, earlier this year, questioned what South Africa was doing in the Tri Nations given their awful away record. I’d like to ask him to look closer to home and ask the same question of his Wobblies. You get the feeling 15 cheerleaders, dressed in green and playing in South Africa, would beat the Wallabies. Mentally the visitors just don’t believe they can win.
It was evident again from their approach as they played to limit the damage of the imposing Bok forwards.
The Boks got two tries but should have added a couple more. Wynand Olivier is not a test winger and JP Pietersen is very much a test fullback. Paulse should have started and Ndungane’s test career has limitations.
There were positives for the Boks. Pierre Spies was explosive, AJ Venter was ruthless and Victor Matfield was colossal. But no Ellis Park positive can replace the negative of a tournament shocker for the Boks. Thank god it is finally over.
Tries - Du Preez and Paulse
Conv - Pretorius
Pens – Pretorius 3
D/goal - Pretorius
Try - Larkham
Conv - Mortlock
Pens - Mortlock (3)