South Africa edge past 'wasteful' Australia in Rugby Championship
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South Africa coach Allister Coetzee hailed skipper Adriaan Strauss and fly-half Morne Steyn after his team beat Australia 18-10 in Pretoria to rise to second in the Rugby Championship.
It was South Africa’s first win in three Tests. Steyn, 32, scored all the South African points from four penalties and two drop goals.
"The value of Adriaan as a leader and as a hooker was there for all to see," Coetzee said.
"Morne justified his inclusion," said Coetzee, who took over as head coach from Heyneke Meyer last Apri. Coetzee axed 26-year-old Elton Jantjies after a series of below-par performances in the four nation southern hemisphere championship.
"Steyn showed that he is still a Test match player. He remains proud to play for the Springboks."
Steyn, who plays his club rugby for Stade Français in France’s Top 14, overtook Percy Montgomery as the most prolific Springbok penalty kicker with 149 successes.
Welcome win over Wallabies
"It is tough coming back from three consecutive losses," Steyn said. "We have lots of critics and this victory was a great way to shut them up."
Coetzee said the victory over the Wallabies was timely after away losses to Argentina, Australia and world champions New Zealand.
"It was an important win, not only for our confidence, but also our self belief. I am a very happy man and will never underestimate any Test win. For a team that had their backs to the wall, a win like this means a lot and is a definite confidence booster."
Coetzee’s Australia counterpart, Michael Cheika, said his side had wasted several scoring opportunities.
"Had we taken them, especially when we dominated the second half, we would have won the game," he added.
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