South Africa beat Australia 35-17 at the Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg on Saturday to kick off their Rugby Championship campaign with a bonus-point win.
South Africa outscored Australia by five tries to two, with debutant Herschel Jantjies, who started at scrum-half, scoring a brace. Lood de Jager, S’busiso Nkosi and Cobus Reinach dotted down for the Boks while Dane Haylett-Petty and Bernard Foley scored the tries for Australia.
Springboks flyhalf Elton Jantjies successfully kicked all his conversions.
Quick hands saw Nkosi receive the ball on the right, break clear and offload to Herschel Jantjies on the inside for the scrum-half to touch down for his maiden Test try after 11 minutes. Elton Jantjies successfully kicked the conversion.
Foley kicked over a penalty six minutes later to reduce the gap to four points.
Ander Esterhuizen was yellow carded in the 21st minute for a high tackle on Australia’s Tom Banks. However, Australia failed to immediately capitalise on their one-man advantage as Pieter-Steph du Toit’s kick over the top saw De Jager eventually crash over for a try on 24 minutes, which Jantjies would convert.
In the 29th minute, Australia worked the ball out wide where full-back Banks found Haylett-Petty, who withstood a strong tackle from Makazole Mapimpi to score. Foley successfully converted as the half would end with South Africa leading 14-10.
With Taniela Tupou sin-binned in the 54th minute, South Africa extended their advantage when Nkosi touched down in the 56th minute for his fifth Test try.
The score became 28-10 Herschel Jantjies grabbed his brace running clean through on the blindside of a ruck in the 62nd minute.
Kurtley Beale’s offload to Foley in the 71st minute allowed the Wallabies flyhalf to cross the whitewash and then convert his own try to make it 28-17.
However, South Africa sealed the win and the bonus point after substitute Cobus Reinach dotted down in the 81st minute.
South Africa top the standings with five points, one ahead of New Zealand who defeated Argentina 16-20 in Buenos Aires.
South Africa next play New Zealand, the defending champions, in Wellington next Saturday.