Springboks crash out of the Rugby World Cup

The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup title defence came to an end with a nail-biting 11-9 loss to Australia in Wellington on Sunday.

The quarterfinal encounter was played with the tenacity of a battle between two rugby powerhouses that fought tooth and nail for every inch of turf beneath their feet.

A James Horwill try in the fifth minute set the tone of an encounter that saw nine points from the boot of Morné Steyn, spearheading the Springbok attack.

It was a game of high intensity that saw the Springboks dominate with 60% possession and 80% territory.

Had it not been for some sloppy handling and mistimed passes, the scoreboard would have told a different story.

Questions will have to be asked of referee Bryce Lawrence whose decision making at crucial points in the match left much to be desired.

Ultimately, it was an untimely error from Danie Russouw in the 71st minute cost South Africa the game, as the young James O’ Connor slotted the resultant penalty.

Springbok skipper John Smit was gracious in defeat.

“It was a ding-dong battle between two determined teams. It’s a horrible way to go out but a couple of missed opportunities cost us. We did enough to win this game but that’s the way it goes,” he said.

The loss will not reflect the effort put in by South Africa in a tournament where they came in underdogs.

Four years is a long time and the team will be vastly different in Japan come 2015.

It also marks the end of an era for veterans Smit, Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez who bring the curtain down on impressive careers.

View our Rugby World Cup special report for the latest news, features, match reports and multimedia here.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Australian journalists flee China fearing arrest

Their dramatic overnight exit came following days of secret wrangling that had seen both men holed up in Australia's diplomatic missions to escape the clutches of China's feared security police

Facebook threatens ban on Australians sharing news in battle over media law

Australians would be stopped from posting local and international articles on Facebook and Instagram, the company said, claiming the move was "not our first choice" but the "only way to protect against an outcome that defies logic".

Empire and environmentalism: The legacy of a brilliant maverick, Richard Grove

The prolific interdisciplinary scholar who worked on the periphery and challenged Eurocentrism also drew attention to the El Niño phenomenon and global warming concerns in Victorian times

Invest in children to give them a better world

This entails putting them at the centre of national strategies, but doing it without high CO2 releases

Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay for news content

Australia's new regulations will also cover the sharing of data, and the ranking and display of news content, to be enforced by binding dispute resolution mechanisms and penalties

Nation of curtain twitchers

Now that we are in the second week of lockdown, South Africans seem to be taking their unwritten civic duty of snitching very seriously

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Journey through anxious Joburg

A new book has collected writing about the condition of living, yes, with a high crime rate, but also other, more pervasive existential urban stresses particular to the Global South

Football legend Maradona dies

The Argentinian icon died at his home on Wednesday, two weeks after having surgery on a blood clot in his brain

Why no vaccine at all is better than a botched...

As Covid vaccines near the manufacturing stage, a look at two polio vaccines provides valuable historical insights

Under cover of Covid, Uganda targets LGBTQ+ shelter

Pandemic rules were used to justify a violent raid on a homeless shelter in Uganda, but a group of victims is pursuing a criminal case against the perpetrators

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…