In front of a crowd of 30,327, Australia and South Africa scored two tries apiece but the precise boot of Bernard Foley proved the difference with his 100% success rate from five opportunities.
In a game that was full of end-to-end Rugby, both sides were adventurous in attack with the Australian halves pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper in particular lighting up the field. Ultimately, it was the Wallabies committed defence that saw them hold on to the lead, as they halted South Africa on their line on several occasions and forced crucial turnovers.
Wallabies Captain Stephen Moore said: “It’s been a long while since our last win. We’ve had a good week and it’s a good feeling to get over the line. I feel happy for our supporters who have stuck with us through a tough time, and I want to thank them."
"The Springboks played well tonight. It’s always a tough game against South Africa. We had a lot of opportunities and made a few mistakes but we’re happy to get our first win of 2016.”
The Wallabies moved the ball well in the opening stanzas of the game but two errors cost Australia dearly with South Africa capitalising on the mistakes to score two runaway tries to take an early 3-14 lead in Brisbane.
Despite the deficit, Australia persevered and continued to attack the Springbok line. Their dedication was repaid when Adam Coleman scored his first Test try for Australia when he dived over the line in the corner. Foley’s sideline conversion brought Australia within range of South Africa, and another Foley penalty that followed lifted the score to 13-14 at half time.
The start of the second half saw the Wallabies take the lead for the first time in the match when South Africa again infringed at the breakdown and referee Nigel Owen sent Eben Etzebeth to the sin bin. Foley's penalty attempt was successful and took the score to 16-14.
With only 14 opponents on the field, the Wallabies continued to mount pressure but an attempt at the tryline from Samu Kerevi fell just short, with the TMO declaring “no try”. The score was still locked at 16-14 by the time Etzebeth returned to the field.
Australia’s attack on South Africa continued with the Wallabies forwards providing an excellent platform with a dominant scrum and consistent work at the breakdown as they advanced on South Africa’s line. After an impressive 18 phases in attack, Bernard Foley crossed for Australia’s second try taking the score to 23-14.
As the clock edged closer to full time, the Springboks rallied and brought the difference to within a converted try when Morne Styen kicked a penalty to take the score to 23-17.
With both sides playing with a frenetic intensity, the final few minutes saw some exciting attacking from both sides, but the composed defensive line from Australia held on to secure the Wallabies' first Test win of 2016.
Australia will now travel to Perth to play Argentina at nib stadium on Saturday 17th September.
How It Happened:
3 mins: Warren Whiteley try, Elton Jantjies con AUS 0-7 RSA
12 mins: Bernard Foley pen, AUS 3-7 RSA
18 mins: Johan Goosen try, Elton Jantjies con AUS 3-14 RSA
26 mins: Adam Coleman try, Bernard Foley con AUS 10-14 RSA
25 mins: Bernard Foley pen AUS 13-14 RSA
42 mins: Bernard Foley pen, AUS 16-14 RSA
61 mins: Bernard Foley try, Bernard Foley con AUS 23-14 RSA
66 mins: Morne Steyn pen, AUS 23-17 RSA
Australia 23 (Adam Coleman, Bernard Foley tries; Bernard Foley 2 cons; Bernard Foley pens) defeated South Africa 17 (Warren Whiteley, Johan Goosen tries; Elton Jantjies 2 cons; Morne Steyn pens)