Rugby Championship
McKenzie refuses to sugarcoat late win
September 7, 2014
Wallabies' winger Adam Ashley-Cooper drops the ball after diving over the tryline, Australia v South Africa, Rugby Championship, Pattersons Stadium, Perth, September 6, 2014
Adam Ashley-Cooper's bombed try was one of several missed chances for the Wallabies © Getty Images

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie has refused to sugarcoat his side's "frustrating" last-gasp victory over the Springboks after several squandered tries made the win tougher than it needed to be.

The Wallabies capitalised on a controversial yellow card to Springboks winger Bryan Habana in his 100th Test by piling on 10 late points to record a dramatic 24-23 win in Perth on Saturday.

Fly-half Bernard Foley kicked the match-winning goal from a 78th minute Rob Horne try to end the No.2 ranked Springboks' eight-match winning streak. The character redeeming win comes just two weeks after the All Blacks humiliated the Wallabies 51-20 at Eden Park, yet McKenzie still wants a more polished performance from his side.

He pointed out the win was made tougher than it needed to be after two certain tries were blown, while several other golden opportunities went begging. They included Adam Ashley-Cooper knocking on the ball over the line in the first half, while prop Pek Cowan was denied his first ever Test five-pointer after Rob Simmons was penalised for obstruction.

"There were a couple of really good opportunities which we didn't finish off," McKenzie said. "We got over the line a couple of times, it was frustrating not to get the points. The scoreboard was a little bit daunting with 15 minutes to go."

While it was McKenzie's first win as coach over either the Springboks or New Zealand, he lamented the fact his side also handed South Africa the keys to their own jail cell on numerous occasions.

"There were a couple of soft moments where we piggy backed them out of their territory - we had them down there pinned and let them off the hook," McKenzie said. "We did alright in the first half against the wind, but in the second half we managed to find different ways to turn the ball over and keep ourselves pinned down. We got an outcome today, which is great, but I like to be consistent so we need to win again next week."

McKenzie played down prop James Slipper's early exit from the field ahead of next week's clash against Argentina on the Gold Coast.

"That's just the perils of putting your head in the front row - he's alright, just a bit stiff," he said.

Meanwhile, winger Henry Speight's frustrating four-year eligibility wait to become a Wallabies player may be prolonged for another week after he suffered a slight hamstring strain ahead of the Canberra Vikings' NRC win over Queensland Country on Saturday.

Australia 24-23 South Africa (video available only in Australia)

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