The Springboks scored five tries and showed solid depth in their squad. The South Africans scored two tries to one for a 14-10 lead at the break and three more in the second half to give the team a real boost for the important 2019 season. To read what Rassie Erasmus thought of the match, click here, or check out all the match stats.
In the end, impressive defence by the Springboks, good energy from Jantjies and his replacement, Cobus Reinach, and the required impact of the bench from the replacements eased the Boks into a hard-fought but deserved win.
The first 30 minutes probably went like a blur for Herschel Jantjies, but the 11th minute will be frozen in time for the livewire scrumhalf. In stuff that dreams are made of, Jantjies scored his first Test try in his first test match eleven minutes in.
A turn-over by the Boks near their win 10 meter line saw Jantjies distributing to the right, where the Aussies were low on numbers. After some slick passing, Sbu Nkosi found space and his final pass found a delighted Jantjies on the inside for a memorable try. Elton Jantjies kicked the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Five minutes later the visitors had their first sniff at points when the Boks were ruled offside just outside their 25 meter line. Bernard Foley made no mistake with the penalty attempt to cut the lead down to four.
That could have swung to a four point lead to the Aussies minutes later when Lukhan Salakaia-Loto crossed the Boks' tryline, but the final pass to him was ruled forward following a TMO intervention.
Andre Estherhuizen was yellow-carded after 20 minutes of play due to a high tackle, but before Australia could take advantage of that, Lood de Jager forced his way over from short range.
Pieter-Steph du Toit found space down the touchline and chipped ahead for Herschel Jantjies who regathered. The nippy scrumhalf was brought down centimeters from the line, but from the resulting ruck, De Jager’s long arms got him over the line before his body did. Elton Jantjies slotted a difficult kick to extend the lead to 14-3.
Australia attacked hard through the middle and was rewarded with another penalty in range. They decided not to kick for poles, but force the line-out. That worked well as it sucked in defenders and when the ball was spread wide, Dane Haylett-Petty found the space needed to beat the Boks cover and score in the corner. Foley slotted from a tight angle to cut the lead to 14-10 with ten minutes to play.
Esterhuizen returned, but the Aussies still found a gap behind the Boks only for Haylett-Petty to spill the ball forward with no one in sight. The Boks seemed to lose some direction at this stage and were again penalized for off side play under their poles. The Wallabies opted for a scrum, but a brilliant tackle by Herschel Jantjies tripped up the visitors and they were penalized for holding on.
The Boks could clear their lines and relieve some of the pressure to go into the change room with a four point lead.
It's tight here in Jozi, with 30 minutes left in the Test and the Boks still leading by 14-10. Lizo Gqoboka just came on for his Springbok debut. Well done young man! #StrongerTogether #RSAvAUS pic.twitter.com/6sDkC0SGDn— Springboks (@Springboks) July 20, 2019
The second half started sluggish for both teams, with handling errors stopping whatever momentum the sides tried to create. It was also an early introduction to test match rugby for Lizo Gqoboko, who replaced Tendai Mtawarira to become Springbok #914.
A strong scrum from the Boks gave Elton Jantjies a long-range opportunity, but it fell just short of the crossbar.
The pressure was kept on the Aussies though as the Bok replacements started to show their mettle. Vincent Koch, Frans Steyn and Marcell Coetzee all added fresh legs.
Taniela Tupou did his side no favours when he was yellow-carded and that left the Aussies a man-short close to their line. The rejuvenated Bok pack made Tupou and his team pay when they secured solid ball to the backs, with Sbu Nkosi finishing off in style after a number of sustained attacks.
Elton Jantjies again slotted from close to the touch line to extend the lead to 21-10 with 58 minutes gone.
Herschel Jantjies got a second after an hour of play. He looked up after Frans Steyn set-up a ruck to find no one guarding the smallest of blind sides. He took the gap and raced 20 meters for a memorable score. Elton Jantjies slotted his fourth conversion - again from a tight angle - to extend the lead to 28-10.
The Australians clawed one back with a well-worked try by Bernard Foley after a surge by Kurtley Beale. This cut the lead to 28-17 with 8 minutes to play.
But Reinach had the final say, going over for the Boks' fifth try to seal a remarkable win and warm hearts on a cold night in Joburg.
South Africa – Tries: Herschel Jantjies (2), Lood de Jager, Sbu Nkosi, Cobus Reinach. Conversions: Elton Jantjies (5).
Australia– Tries: Dane Haylett-Petty, Bernard Foley. Conversions: Foley (2). Penalty goal: Foley.