Giffin banned for two Tests

South Africa 20 Australia 15
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The Independent Online

The Australian lock David Giffin has been handed a three-week ban after striking South Africa's Robbie Fleck during the Wallabies' Tri-Nations defeat on Saturday. Giffin was cited by the independent commissioner David Grey for a forearm smash into the back of Fleck's head just before half-time.

The incident was missed by the match officials, but a three-man disciplinary panel yesterday imposed the suspension after examining video evidence.

Giffin will now be out of Australia's Tri-Nations matches with New Zealand in Dunedin on 11 August and South Africa in Perth the following week.

The Springbok coach, Harry Viljoen, emerged from a week of intense public criticism as a man vindicated by his team's victory. Viljoen, who attracted the most criticism for his choice of the inexperienced full-back Conrad Jantjes in the place of Percy Montgomery, had his faith repaid with Jantjes earning the man-of-the-match award.

Viljoen's decision to recall Braam van Straaten also had the desired effect as he kicked five penalties out of his six shots at goal. But it was an inspired performance from the Springbok forwards that set up the win.

The tighthead prop Cobus Visagie, who spearheaded a highly effective Springbok scrum, and the captain, Bobby Skinstad, who disrupted the line-outs, meant the Wallabies were unable to dominate the tight phases, resulting in a breakdown of their overall play.

In the first half they missed out on two tries when, despite having players out wide, they decided to take the ball back in. The pressure on Australia was increased by a surprisingly poor kicking performance from the full-back, Matthew Burke, who missed two penalties in the first 15 minutes.

Skinstad scored the game's only try on the stroke of half-time after a maul formed inside Australia's 22. The scrum-half, Joost van der Westhuizen, then delivered a well-timed pass to Skinstad, who took it at full pace to score his first try since scoring against Spain in the 1999 World Cup.

Australia relied solely on the four penalties by Burke and a penalty by Manuel Edmonds for their points.

South Africa: Try Skinstad; Penalties Van Straaten 5.

Australia: Penalties, Burke 4, Edmonds.

SOUTH AFRICA: C Jantjes; B Paulse, R Fleck, B van Straaten, D Hall; B James, J van der Westhuizen; R Kempson (O le Roux 65), L van Biljon (J Smit, 68), C Visagie, J Ackermann (J van Niekerk, 68), M Andrews, A Vos (C Krige, 39; Vos, 41; Krige, 56), A Venter, B Skinstad (capt).

AUSTRALIA: M Burke (C Latham, 72); A Walker, D Herbert, N Grey, J Roff; E Flatley (M Edmonds, 68), G Gregan; N Stiles, M Foley, R Moore, J Eales (capt), D Giffin (M Cockbain, 56), D Giffin, O Finegan, G Smith, T Kefu (D Lyons, 72).

Referee: D McHugh (Ireland).

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