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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Springboks deny Wallabies
Brent Russell bursts through the Australian defence
Brent Russell scoots clear to score his try
South Africa 33-31 Australia

South African full-back Werner Greeff converted his own try in the final minute to deny Australia at Ellis Park in Johannesburg.

With time up on the clock and the hosts trailing by five points, Greeff exploded through the Australian defence to cross next to the posts and level the scores.

He then composed himself to add the two points and seal a morale-boosting win for the home side.

  Scoreboard
South Africa 33
Tries: Paulse (2), Russell, Van Niekerk, Greeff
Cons: Greeff (4)
Australia 31
Tries: Rogers, Kefu, Cannon
Cons: Burke 2
Pens: Burke 3
Drop goal:Gregan

The result handed the Tri-Nations title to New Zealand after the Wallabies failed to secure the four tries and 26-point winning margin they needed to claim the crown.

South Africa, missing injured fly-half Andre Pretorius, started brightly, dominating possession for the opening quarter.

But they were made to pay for their lack of a specialist kicker as both Greeff and replacement fly-half Brent Russell missed handy penalties.

At the other end of the field the metronomic Matt Burke converted three penalties to punish Springbok indiscretions in their own half.

But from being in control of the match, the Wallabies were finally broken down by the Springboks running game.

Winger Breyton Paulse popped up at fly-half to score five minutes before the break and then Russell crossed three minutes later to help the hosts to a 14-9 half-time lead.

Paulse went in for his second try from the restart and Greeff added his third conversion to give South Africa a 12-point lead.

Australia were handed a way back when the hosts were reduced to 14 men after De Wet Barry was sin-binned for punching, but the Springboks made light of their numerical disadvantage.

Joe van Niekerk was at the end of a sweeping move to score a try and extend their lead to 17 points before Mat Rogers answered with the Wallabies' first try.

With the Springboks becoming increasingly stretched, Toutai Kefu went over next to the posts.

With 10 minutes remaining South Africa were down to 14 men again when Marius Joubert was sent off for a second high tackle.

George Gregan's drop kick levelled the scores before George Smith's break from a lineout near the halfway line set up replacement hooker Brendan Cannon to cross in the corner with five minutes left.

But with time up on the clock Greeff burst through from 20 yards out and he then ensured his place in Springbok history by landing the winning kick.


Teams:

South Africa:
15 Werner Greeff, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Marius Joubert, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Dean Hall, 10 Brent Russell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Bob Skinstad, 7 Joe van Niekerk, 6 Corne Krige (captain), 5 AJ Venter, 4 Jannes Labuschagne, 3 Willie Meyer, 2 James Dalton, 1 Lawrence Sephaka.

Australia:
15 Chris Latham, 14 Ben Tune, 13 Matthew Burke, 12 Daniel Herbert, 11 Stirling Mortlock, 10 Stephen Larkham, 9 George Gregan (captain), 8 Toutai Kefu, 7 George Smith, 6 Owen Finegan, 5 Justin Harrison, 4 Nathan Sharpe, 3 Ben Darwin, 2 Jeremy Paul, 1 Bill Young.

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BBC Sport's Craig Ray
"A pressure kick for Greeff"

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