Australia v South Africa, Tri-Nations, August 29
Boks return to happy hunting ground
August 27, 2009
South Africa's Pierre Spies attempts to break through Australia's defence during their last meeting in Cape Town © Getty Images
Australia entertain South Africa at the Subiaco Oval in Perth on Saturday in the 70th meeting of the two sides.
The Springboks hold the historical advantage over the Wallabies with 42 victories to their rivals' 26 since their first meeting in Sydney in 1921 - won 25-10 by the visitors. The only draw between the two sides came in Perth in 2001 while South Africa recorded the most recent victory with a 29-17 success in their Tri-Nations clash at Newlands last month.
Prior to South Africa's readmission to international sport in 1992, Australia had won just seven of the 31 matches played. The scoreboard stands 19 wins to 18 in Australia's favour, along with the draw, in the time since then. South Africa has prevailed only three times on Australian soil since 1992; and just twice (both in Perth) from the 15 matches of the Tri-Nations era, which kicked off in 1996.
This is the 16th Test to have been played between the two countries on Australian soil since the Tri-Nations kicked off in 1996. Australia has won 12 of the previous 15, and South Africa two.
South Africa has won nine of its last 10 Tests since losing 15-27 at home to Australia in Durban last year. The only defeat sustained since was a 9-28 reverse against the British & Irish Lions in the 'dead' third rubber of that series, when the Boks fielded a much changed side from that which had won the two earlier Tests.
Since 2000, the countries have also competed for the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate - named after South Africa's first post-apartheid president, Nelson Mandela. Australia are the current holders of the trophy thanks to their two victories in 2008 but success for South Africa on Saturday would see them reclaim the Plate for the first time since 2005.
Perth has been a relatively happy hunting ground for the Springboks on their five previous trips to Western Australia. They edged out Australia 14-13 on their first visit to the Subiaco Oval in 1998 where a try from scrum-half Joost van der Westhuizen and nine points from the boot of fullback Percy Montgomery ensured a winning start to a campaign that would end with their first victory in the battle southern hemisphere crown.
The Springboks can also boast a 22-19 success in 2005 in addition to a share of the spoils in 2001. The two defeats at the hands of the Springboks are the only losses suffered by the Wallabies in their nine matches in Perth although Ireland are the only other major side to have paid a visit.
The first of Australia's two victories at the Oval came in 2004 when tries from Stephen Larkham, Chris Latham, Clyde Rathbone and Lote Tuqiri clinched a 30-26 comeback win - but the Springboks bounced back to claim the overall Tri-Nations title. The Wallabies' other success came in their most recent clash during last year's Tri-Nations where tries from Tuqiri and Stirling Mortlock carried them to a 16-9 success.
Wallabies skipper Stirling Mortlock holds the record for the most points scored in clashes between the sides with a personal tally of 150 points - but a Tri-Nations-ending injury suffered in the sides' last clash in Cape Town will rob him of the chance of adding to his record.
All-time record: South Africa won 42, Australia won 26, drawn 1
Biggest winning margin: SA: 45, 53-8 at Johannesburg, 2008; Aus: 49, 49-0 at Brisbane, 2006
Highest score: SA: 61 (61-22) at Pretoria, 1997; Aus: 49 (49-0) at Brisbane, 2006
Most tries: SA: 8 (53-8) at Johannesburg, 2008, (61-22) at Pretoria,1997, (28-3) at Johannesburg, 1961; Aus: 6 (49-0) at Brisbane, 2006
Longest winning sequence: SA: 7 (1953-1963) and (1969-1971); Aus: 4 (1999-2000)
Most points (individual) : SA: Percy Montgomery 140; Aus: Stirling Mortlock 150
Most tries (individual) : SA: 7 Breyton Paulse; NZ: 7 Stirling Mortlock
Most points in a Test: SA: 26 Jannie de Beer at Pretoria, 1997; Aus: 29 Stirling Mortlock at Melbourne, 2000
Click Here for South Africa's Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for Australia's Test record courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for a record of all South Africa v Australia matches courtesy of Statsguru
Click Here for the Australia v South Africa record at the Subiaco Oval courtesy of Statsguru