Australia beat South Africa 28-26 in 2021 Rugby Championship

Quade Cooper held his nerve to hand Australia a nail-biting 28-26 Rugby Championship upset of world champions South Africa.

Australia's Quade Cooper passes the ball during the Rugby Championship match against South Africa at Cbus Super Stadium in Gold Coast on 12 September 2021. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Wallabies claimed a 28-26 win over the world champions, the Springboks, on the Gold Coast on Sunday.

It was an after-the-hooter penalty from Quade Cooper that gave Australia the win.

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber said his men were not disciplined on the field.

“We scored three tries to one and gave them 23 points off the tea and that’s the reason we lost. We Made a couple of errors, we lost control of the game and again discipline. We lost it because we conceded a penalty.”

The defending Rugby Championship champions now find themselves five points behind the All Blacks on the table and will have to pull off something considerable to keep hold of their title.

The Boks scored three tries to one from their hosts - all through the rolling maul - and looked to have rescued the match until Cooper's last-gasp winner.

The first half of the match belonged to the Wallabies. Aside from their struggles at the driving maul, the home side dominated most of the other facets of play, seeing 66% of the ball. The Australian scrum also stood up well to the Springboks.

The Boks’ attempts to get back into the game were given a major boost when, just after Folau Fainga’a was yellow-carded for a no-arms tackle, Malcolm Marx scored a try from another powerful maul that was converted by Pollard. It made it a one-point game going into the last 20 minutes of the match.

Cooper, who was flawless on the night, stepped up when it mattered most, slotting the kick and the men from 'Down Under' celebrated like they had won their own World Cup.

The Springboks missed 10 points on the night through misses kicks, with Pollard missing three attempts and Willemse one.

Despite the Boks enjoying three successive dominant scrums, it was the Wallabies who won a penalty just on the full-time hooter.

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