SYDNEY, Sept 8 (Reuters) - Australia overturned a narrow halftime deficit to grind out their first victory of the Rugby Championship with a tight 23-18 win over South Africa at Lang Park in Brisbane on Saturday.
Two Matt Toomua penalties after the break added to the centre’s first-half try and one from his captain Michael Hooper to give the Wallabies their first win in five matches after back-to-back losses to Ireland and New Zealand.
Hooker Bongi Mbonambi and winger Makazole Mapimpi had helped to give South Africa an 18-17 lead at the break but they were held scoreless in the second half to slump to a second successive defeat after a loss to Argentina last time out.
The Springboks pressed hard for what would have been a match-winning try over the final few minutes but the home side held them off with a huge defensive effort.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Clare Fallon