History of rugby union matches between Australia and South Africa

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Wallaby captain John Solomon chaired by two Springbok players, 2nd Test 1953

The contest between The Wallabies and The Springboks is one of the major rivalries in rugby union.

The teams' first meeting was on 8 July 1933 at Newlands in Cape Town in the first of 5 tests on the 1933 Wallabies tour. The test was won 17–3 by South Africa who also won that first series 3–2.

South Africa has a better than 57% winning record against Australia, and before the era of sporting boycotts, dominated the early encounters up to 1971.[1] Out of all their tests, South Africa holds the advantage having won 46 of the 83 games between the 2. However, since South African rugby's readmission in 1992, the head-to-head record is quite even, with Australia holding a very slight edge, having won 28 out of the 52, and of which South Africa winning 25, and 3 draws.

Both sides have exhibited a considerable home advantage, with the Springboks winning more than 75% of matches played in South Africa, and the Wallabies winning more than 60% of matches played in Australia.

In the amateur era, the Springboks made five tours to Australia, and were undefeated in three of them. South Africa won two of the four test series they played in Australia; 2–0 in 1937, and 3–0 in 1971. By contrast, the Wallabies made six tours to South Africa, only once making it through undefeated, albeit on a tour comprising only four matches and one test in 1992. Prior to that, Australia's best away tour was the 2-all drawn test series of 1963.[2]

Prior to 1972, South African teams were racially selected, organised by the whites-only South African Rugby Board. Australia then supported the international boycott of sporting contacts with South Africa over the issue of apartheid. The teams did not meet again until 1992, when apartheid was being dismantled and the SARB had merged with the non-racial South African Rugby Union. Since that time Australia has won just over 50% of their games and has won the Mandela Plate nine times in the twelve years since its inception.[3]

In the professional era, extended tours of each country have been replaced by participation in an annual series involving the top teams of the Southern Hemisphere. From 1996 through 2011, Australia and South Africa competed alongside New Zealand in the Tri Nations series. Starting in 2012, the three nations competed alongside Argentina in The Rugby Championship. In the Tri Nations era, the Wallabies and Springboks played two or three encounters each year on a home-and-away basis; the Rugby Championship features two annual encounters, also on a home-and-away basis.

Rugby World Cup[edit]

Australia and South Africa have met three times in the Rugby World Cup. In 1995 they were drawn in the same pool and host nation South Africa won 27–18, going on to win the cup. In 1999 Australia knocked South Africa out of the competition in a semi-final at Twickenham, winning 27–21. In 2011, Australia again knocked South Africa out of the competition, in a quarter-final at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, winning 11–9.

Mandela Challenge Plate[edit]

Date Venue Home Team Score Away Team Competitions Winner
8 September Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Australia   South Africa 2018 Rugby Championship
29 September Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth South Africa   Australia

Summary[edit]

Overall[edit]

Details Played Won by
 Australia
Won by
 South Africa
Drawn Australia points South Africa points
In Australia 38 24 12 2 819 624
In South Africa 45 10 34 1 679 1033
Neutral venue 3 2 1 0 56 57
Overall 86 36 47 3 1516 1684

Source:[2]

Records[edit]

Note: Date shown in brackets indicates when the record was or last set.

Record Australia South Africa
Longest winning streak 5 (23 July 2011 – 29 Sep 2012) 7 (2 Aug 1969 – 29 Aug 1992)
Largest points for
Home 49 (15 July 2006) 61 (23 August 1997)
Away 41 (4 September 2010) 38 (7 September 2013)
Largest winning margin
Home 49 (15 July 2006) 45 (30 August 2008)
Away 23 (29 August 1992) 26 (7 September 2013)
Largest aggregate score
83 (South Africa 61-22 Australia) (23 August 1997)

List of series[edit]

Details Played Won by
 Australia
Won by
 South Africa
Drawn
Overall 10 2 7 1
Year Australia South Africa Series winner
1993 2 1  Australia
1971 0 3  South Africa
1969 0 4  South Africa
1965 2 0  Australia
1963 2 2   draw
1961 0 2  South Africa
1956 0 2  South Africa
1953 1 3  South Africa
1937 0 2  South Africa
1933 2 3  South Africa

Results[edit]

No. Date Venue Score Winner Competition
1 8 July 1933 Newlands, Cape Town 17–3  South Africa 1933 Tour
2 22 July 1933 Kingsmead, Durban 6–21  Australia
3 12 August 1933 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 12–3  South Africa
4 26 August 1933 Crusader Park, Port Elizabeth 11–0  South Africa
5 2 September 1933 Springbok Park, Bloemfontein 4–15  Australia
6 26 June 1937 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 5–9  South Africa 1937 Tour
7 17 July 1937 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 17–26  South Africa
8 22 August 1953 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 25–3  South Africa 1953 Tour
9 5 September 1953 Newlands, Cape Town 14–18  Australia
10 19 September 1953 Kingsmead, Durban 18–8  South Africa
11 26 September 1953 Crusader Park, Port Elizabeth 22–9  South Africa
12 26 May 1956 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 0–9  South Africa 1956 Tour
13 2 June 1956 Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 0–9  South Africa
14 5 August 1961 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 28–3  South Africa 1961 Tour
15 12 August 1961 Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth 23–11  South Africa
16 13 July 1963 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 14–3  South Africa 1963 Tour
17 10 August 1963 Newlands, Cape Town 5–9  Australia
18 24 August 1963 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 9–11  Australia
19 7 September 1963 Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth 22–6  South Africa
20 19 June 1965 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 18–11  Australia 1965 Tour
21 26 June 1965 Lang Park, Brisbane 12–8  Australia
22 2 August 1969 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 30–11  South Africa 1969 Tour
23 16 August 1969 Kings Park, Durban 16–9  South Africa
24 6 September 1969 Newlands, Cape Town 11–3  South Africa
25 20 September 1969 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 19–8  South Africa
26 17 July 1971 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 11–19  South Africa 1971 Tour
27 31 July 1971 Exhibition Ground, Brisbane 6–14  South Africa
28 7 August 1971 Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 6–18  South Africa
29 29 August 1992 Newlands, Cape Town 3–26  Australia
30 31 July 1993 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 12–19  South Africa 1993 Tour
31 14 August 1993 Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane 28–20  Australia
32 21 August 1993 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 19–12  Australia
33 25 May 1995 Newlands, Cape Town 18–27  South Africa 1995 Rugby World Cup
34 13 July 1996 Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney 21–16  Australia 1996 Tri Nations Series
35 3 August 1996 Vodacom Park, Bloemfontein 25–19  South Africa
36 2 August 1997 Lang Park, Brisbane 32–20  Australia 1997 Tri Nations Series
37 23 August 1997 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 61–22  South Africa
38 18 July 1998 Subiaco Oval, Perth 13–14  South Africa 1998 Tri Nations Series
39 22 August 1998 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 29–15  South Africa
40 17 July 1999 Lang Park, Brisbane 32–6  Australia 1999 Tri Nations Series
41 14 August 1999 Newlands, Cape Town 10–9  South Africa
42 30 October 1999 Twickenham, London, England 27–21  Australia 1999 Rugby World Cup
43 8 July 2000 Colonial Stadium, Melbourne 44–23  Australia
44 29 July 2000 Stadium Australia, Sydney 26–6  Australia 2000 Tri Nations Series
45 26 August 2000 Kings Park, Durban 18–19  Australia
46 28 July 2001 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 20–15  South Africa 2001 Tri Nations Series
47 18 August 2001 Subiaco Oval, Perth 14–14 draw
48 27 July 2002 Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane 38–27  Australia 2002 Tri Nations Series
49 17 August 2002 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 33–31  South Africa
50 12 July 2003 Newlands, Cape Town 26–22  South Africa 2003 Tri Nations Series
51 2 August 2003 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 29–9  Australia
52 31 July 2004 Subiaco Oval, Perth 30–26  Australia 2004 Tri Nations Series
53 21 August 2004 ABSA Stadium, Durban 23–19  South Africa
54 9 July 2005 Telstra Stadium, Sydney 30–12  Australia
55 23 July 2005 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 33–20  South Africa
56 30 July 2005 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 22–16  South Africa 2005 Tri Nations Series
57 20 August 2005 Subiaco Oval, Perth 19–22  South Africa
58 15 July 2006 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 49–0  Australia 2006 Tri Nations Series
59 5 August 2006 Telstra Stadium, Sydney 20–18  Australia
60 9 September 2006 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 24–16  South Africa
61 16 June 2007 Newlands, Cape Town 22–19  South Africa 2007 Tri Nations Series
62 7 July 2007 Telstra Stadium, Sydney 25–17  Australia
63 19 July 2008 Subiaco Oval, Perth 16–9  Australia 2008 Tri Nations Series
64 23 August 2008 Kings Park, Durban 15–27  Australia
65 30 August 2008 Ellis Park, Johannesburg 53–8  South Africa
66 8 August 2009 Newlands, Cape Town 29–17  South Africa 2009 Tri Nations Series
67 29 August 2009 Subiaco Oval, Perth 25–32  South Africa
68 5 September 2009 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 21–6  Australia
69 24 July 2010 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 30–13  Australia 2010 Tri Nations Series
70 28 August 2010 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 44–31  South Africa
71 4 September 2010 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 39–41  Australia
72 23 July 2011 ANZ Stadium, Sydney 39–20  Australia 2011 Tri Nations Series
73 13 August 2011 Kings Park, Durban 9–14  Australia
74 9 October 2011 Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand 9–11  Australia 2011 Rugby World Cup
75 8 September 2012 Patersons Stadium, Perth 26–19  Australia 2012 Rugby Championship
76 29 September 2012 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 31–8  South Africa
77 7 September 2013 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 12–38  South Africa 2013 Rugby Championship
78 28 September 2013 Newlands, Cape Town 28–8  South Africa
79 6 September 2014 Patersons Stadium, Perth 24–23  Australia 2014 Rugby Championship
80 27 September 2014 Newlands, Cape Town 28–10  South Africa
81 18 July 2015 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 24–20  Australia 2015 Rugby Championship
82 10 September 2016 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 23–17  Australia 2016 Rugby Championship
83 1 October 2016 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria 18–10  South Africa
84 9 September 2017 nib Stadium, Perth 23–23 draw 2017 Rugby Championship
85 30 September 2017 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein 27–27 draw
86 8 September 2018 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 2018 Rugby Championship
87 29 September 2018 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth

XV results[edit]

Below is a list of matches that Australia has retrospectively awarded matches test match status by virtue of awarding caps, but South Africa did not award caps.

Date Venue Score Winner Comments
2 July 1921 University Oval, Sydney 9–28 South Africa Not classed as a full international by South Africa who fielded a South Africa XV.
27 June 1921 Royal Agricultural Showground, Sydney 11–16 South Africa Not classed as a full international by South Africa who fielded a South Africa XV.
25 June 1921 Royal Agricultural Showground, Sydney 10–25 South Africa Not classed as a full international by South Africa who fielded a South Africa XV.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ESPNscrum Team Records". espnscrum.com. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Pick and Go rugby archive – select Wallabies and Boks.
  3. ^ National rugby unions

External links[edit]