PERTH: Australia squandered a 10-point lead as South Africa stormed back to claim a 23-23 draw in their Rugby Championship test in Perth yesterday.
The Springboks clawed back from 20-10 down early in the second-half to hit the front 23-20 before Bernard Foley kicked a levelling penalty goal for the Wallabies 10 minutes from time.
The draw left South Africa unbeaten in six internationals this year, while the Wallabies now have three points in the Rugby Championship after two defeats to New Zealand.
It was the second draw in the 84 test matches between the two teams, and the first since a 14-14 stalemate also in Perth in 2001.
The Wallabies looked on target to push on to victory when they extended their 13-10 half-time advantage to lead 20-10 seven minutes after the resumption.
It was the Springboks set-piece that turned the game in the second-half, winning key lineouts and disrupting the Wallabies scrum.
The draw meant the Springboks have not beaten the Wallabies in Australia since their 38-12 romp in Brisbane in 2013.
“It was an awesome effort in the second-half,” Springboks skipper Eben Etzebeth said.
“We said at half-time that we had to work on a couple of things and we almost pulled it through.
“The scrums went really well for us and we also got rewards from the maul.”
Asked how he felt about the draw Etzebeth said: “It’s difficult, you always want to win these games and would have loved it to be us but unfortunately (it was) a draw.”
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he was disappointed his team did not close out the match.
“We wanted to have a win tonight no doubt, but it’s a young team learning about how to deal with those situations and we need to get better because with 10 points up we should have gone on with it,” Cheika said.
Skipper Michael Hooper added: “Missed opportunity there. Set-piece didn’t allow us to get momentum in the second- half.