RECALLED fly-half Morne Steyn kicked all the points for South Africa in an 18-10 Rugby Championship victory over Australia in Pretoria on Sunday morning (AEDT).
Victory for the Springboks, who led 12-10 at halftime, snapped a three-match losing streak in a competition already won by New Zealand.
Steyn, starting in place of struggling Elton Jantjies, kicked four penalties and two drop goals as South Africa rose to second on the standings with one round remaining.
Australia have lost all seven Tests at Loftus Versfeld stadium and the latest defeat will be particularly bitter given the amount of second-half possession they enjoyed.
Steyn’s monster field goalSteyn’s monster field goal0:49
A near-50,000 crowd at one of the Springbok strongholds witnessed a rare occurrence after only four minutes as Steyn slotted a drop goal to open the scoring.
It was the first drop goal of the Rugby Championship this season after 644 minutes of tries, conversions and penalties.
Australia were soon on the front foot in perfect southern hemisphere spring conditions and levelled on eight minutes when centre Bernard Foley kicked a closes-range penalty.
After a further six minutes of largely Wallabies pressure, the visitors scored the only try of the opening half through prop Scott Sio to build a 10-3 advantage.
It was a special moment for the 23-cap loose-head front row forward as he scored his first Test try, which stemmed from South Africa winger Bryan Habana failing to find touch with a clearance kick.
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Sio gets his maiden trySio gets his maiden try1:04
Australia patiently went through the phases before Sio dived over under the posts after taking a pass from fellow prop Sekope Kepu.
Foley converted and soon after Wallaby winger Reece Hodge saw his ambitious 65-metre penalty attempt fall just short.
Steyn narrowed the gap to four points with his first penalty of the match, the kick going over off a post to the relief of the veteran playmaker.
A turnover virtually on their tryline got the Springboks out of jail before the first half swung in favour of the hosts when Wallabies fullback Israel Folau was sin-binned on 34 minutes.
Folau blocked 2007 World Rugby Player of the Year Habana as he pursued his own kick ahead and English referee Wayne Barnes did not hesitate to raise the yellow card.
Steyn kicked the resultant penalty, and another one minute into additional first-half time to leave South Africa 12-10 ahead at halftime.
Folau’s costly foul playFolau’s costly foul play1:01
Hodge, who replaced Foley for long-range shots at goal, missed two kickable penalty attempts in the opening 12 minutes of the second half as the visitors pressed.
South Africa chose only two backs among eight replacements and when scrum-half Rudy Paige was concussed just before the hour mark, he had to be replaced by loose forward Willem Alberts.
Winger Francois Hougaard took over from Paige and Alberts came into the back row with another loose forward, Jaco Kriel, becoming an emergency winger.
Steyn was well wide with his fourth penalty attempt as the South Africans took a rare breather from relentless Australian pressure.
But the fly-half made two telling late contributions, kicking a penalty and a drop goal.