The fly-half’s last-minute kick gives Australia a 28-26 victory over the world champions

Quade Cooper’s match-winning penalty against South Africa

Quade Cooper slotted a last-minute penalty to seal a 28-26 victory for Australia over South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

The fly-half was playing his first Test in more than four years and had a 100% kicking record in the match as he was successful with eight kicks at goal out of eight. It’s quite a comeback story.

It was the first time Cooper had pulled on the Wallabies jersey since facing Italy in June 2017 but he looks set to continue to add to his 71 caps after this performance. Team-mate Allan Alaalatoa described Cooper as “the ice man” after he was successful with the pressure kick.

World champions South Africa looked like they had secured the victory when Malcolm Marx went over for his second try from a rolling maul in the 72nd minute to put the Boks back in front.

However, the Wallabies kept attacking. Centre Samu Kerevi, impressive throughout, carried strongly to make ground in those closing minutes while captain Michael Hooper broke out wide and nearly released Reece Hodge down the wing, only for the ball to be knocked on.

The Boks cleared from the subsequent scrum but back came the Wallabies and the crucial penalty was awarded at another scrum.

South Africa had the put-in after a knock-on but the Wallabies pack got a decent nudge, Kwagga Smith then picked the ball up and was penalised by referee Luke Pearce for holding on while under pressure from Nic White.

There was some debate as to whether Cooper or Hodge would take the kick, but it was the returning fly-half who stepped up and duly put the ball through the posts from the 10m line. The late match-winning kick sparked jubilation amongst the Wallabies, who were quick to congratulate Cooper.

Quade Cooper’s match-winning penalty

Wallabies players mob Quade Cooper after the winning kick (AFP/Getty Images)

Boks skipper Siya Kolisi bemoaned his team’s ill-discipline after the match while the Wallabies will be pleased with the doggedness they showed after suffering three straight defeats by New Zealand.

The two sides will meet again at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, before the Wallabies play back-to-back Tests against Argentina and the Springboks take on the All Blacks.

All matches are available to watch on Sky Sports in the UK.

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