Cooper's Wallabies bounce back to beat Boks

Australia 39 South Africa 20
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The Independent Online

Australia made some amends for their defeat by Samoa by opening the Tri-Nations with a five-try hammering of a weakened South Africa side.

The Wallabies, with a core of players from the Super 15 champions, the Queensland Reds, restored to their starting team, scored two tries in the first 12 minutes. For the first, the fly-half Quade Cooper attacked from inside his own 22, stepping inside a number of tacklers to break clear. Cooper found Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor in support before the ball went left, where Rocky Elsom sent the prop Ben Alexander over. O'Connor converted, and then the scrum-half Will Genia made a break and fed Digby Ioane, who beat Gio Aplon to score an unconverted try.

South Africa employed their debutant No 8, Ashley Johnson, to good effect and Morne Steyn got them on the board with two penalties to one by O'Connor, but the game was killed off within eight minutes of the restart. First, Cooper exploited a hole between Juan de Jongh and Wynand Olivier to send out a pass which O'Connor gathered to score. The wing converted, then the hooker Stephen Moore raced on to a flat Cooper pass and O'Connor's kick made it 29-6.

O'Connor kicked a second penaltybefore Cooper's flip pass sent Adam Ashley-Cooper over the line. O'Connor converted again. From 39-6, South Africa rallied with tries by Chiliboy Ralepelle and John Smit. Patrick Lambie converted both.