Wallabies crushed in Perth
Springboks send Australia to fourth straight defeat
Last Updated: 29/08/09 4:45pm
Habana crosses for a second time
South Africa took a step closer to winning a third Tri-Nations title with a 32-25 victory over Australia in Perth on Saturday.
The Springboks had the game sewn up by half-time, scrum-half Fourie du Preez and outside centre Jaque Fourie scoring in the first 10 minutes before Bryan Habana added a third to lead 22-6 at the break.
Wallabies fly-half Matt Giteau reduced the deficit to just nine points with a converted try after the interval but the damage had already been done.
And when Habana added a second try in the 54th minute to seal the bonus point the Aussies were condemned to a fourth straight defeat.
The Springboks remain unbeaten in the tournament following their fourth win on the trot, while the Wallabies have officially been knocked out of the series.
They were put on the back foot from the opening whistle, and the Springboks went 12-0 up within nine minutes.
Du Preez underlined his class and immense value to South Africa when his side were awarded a free kick after some great interplay between the backs.
The scrum-half, alert as ever, quick-tapped and smashed through four tacklers to score.
Centre Fourie then crossed untouched after Giteau was terribly exposed in defence from a midfield scrum.
What seemed like the simplest of conversion attempts though, was fluffed by Morne Steyn as the ball came bouncing back off the upright.
Giteau also missed two penalty attempts before finally landing one in the 28th minute to cut deficit to 15-3 but the Springboks soon asserted their dominance.
Du Preez launched a huge up-and-under which winger Lachie Turner couldn't control and the ball spat loose to Habana who cracked on the gas to leave a string of Wallabies players in his wake.
Steyn added the extras and even though Giteau banked another three points, their 22-6 half-time lead was an imposing one.
Giteau reduced the margin to nine points with a converted try three minutes after the break, beating four defenders after a quick tap.
But whatever hope the home fans had of a Wallabies comeback, were quickly dashed when Habana strolled over for his second touchdown of the match.
The winger would have been the most relieved South African on the pitch after spilling the ball just one minute prior to his bonus-point try with the line at his mercy.
Turner found his way over for a consolation try on the stroke of full-time to prevent South Africa recording their highest winning margin on Australian soil since 1971.
This Perth triumph was arguably the best from the number one ranked side in the world, since they dismantled the men in gold in Johannesburg last year.
South Africa were simply too quick, too strong, too smart and far more precise and clinical than the home team.
By contrast the Wallabies' willing game was mistake-ridden, particularly at the key moments inside both 22s.