matter of pride

PERTH - New coach Robbie Deans said pride saw his Australian team beat World Cup winners South Africa with a gutsy 16-9 win in a Test at Subiaco Oval in Perth on Saturday.

PERTH - New coach Robbie Deans said pride saw his Australian team beat World Cup winners South Africa with a gutsy 16-9 win in a Test at Subiaco Oval in Perth on Saturday.

The Wallabies were outsiders for the series and in their first match were facing a Springbok side full of confidence after a historic 30-28 win over the All Blacks in Dunedin last weekend.

But, in front of 41838 fans the home side scored the only two tries of the match either side of half-time, with Berrick Barnes sealing the win in the final minute, nailing a drop goal from 25 metres.

The result also maintained Deans' perfect record since taking over, with four wins from as many Tests.

"The thing that I really took a liking to was the pride," he said. "As a result of that pride, [there was] a willingness to engage and willingness to defend.

"There was some good carry and some good scrambling defence."

He said the second-half try by captain Stirling Mortlock, who dragged three Springbok defenders across the line, summed up Australia's determination.

The South African camp were left lamenting missed opportunities and coach Peter de Villiers admitted his side just didn't execute as well as it should.

"We didn't foresee this," he said.

"We controlled a lot of the game, but all credit to the Aussies, they deserved it tonight."

But against the run of play, with the South Africans seeming on top, the Wallabies grabbed the lead just before half-time. The home side hadn't created many genuine threats against disciplined Springboks defence but managed to lead 5-3 at interval.

The Wallabies continued to rally when play resumed, and were quickly rewarded when Mortlock bustled over in the corner. Australia held an unlikely 10-3 lead.

Both tries came on JP Pietersen's wing, the Wallabies clearly targeting what they believed was the weak point in the South African defence.

The lead was extended to 13-3 when Giteau found his range and converted in the 51st minute, but the Boks immediately answered with a penalty through Butch James.

The Springboks inched back and were unlucky not to score in the 66th minute, when Bryan Habana lost the ball in the tackle as he was grounding it for a try in the corner. - Sapa-AFP

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