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No ill feelings between Eben Etzebeth and Allan Alaalatoa after fracas

By Sam Smith
Eben Etzebeth and Allan Alaalatoa (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Any bad blood between South Africa lock Eben Etzebeth and Australia tighthead Allan Alaalatoa remained on the Allianz Stadium pitch on Saturday as the pair seemed to be back on good terms in the changing room after the match.


The duo were embroiled in a fracas on 72 minutes in Sydney after Makazole Mapimpi scored in the corner, as the testy atmosphere of their two Tests against each other seemed to come to a head. What was initially a melee between plenty of players descended into a one-on-one scuffle between Etzebeth and Alaalatoa with referee Ben O’Keeffe attempting to break it up.

Both players have clearly buried the hatchet though, as Australia provided some behind the scenes footage of the two teams in the changing room after the match, with Alaalatoa taking a peace offering of a beer out of the fridge for Etzebeth before they both hugged and chatted to each other.

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Mapimpi’s try in the corner was not too dissimilar from his failed attempt from the week before, with Marika Koroibete rushing across the field on both occasions to try and stop him. While that let to the Wallaby’s controversial tackle in round three of the Rugby Championship, the Springbok was able to score in Sydney, and maybe vented any pent up emotion he had immediately after, resulting in a yellow card.

The try and touchline conversion from Frans Steyn did give South Africa and unassailable 24-3 lead in the closing minutes of the match, although Australia scored a consolation try late on to make the final score 24-8.

The result leaves the Rugby Championship evenly poised going into the final two rounds, with the All Blacks sitting atop with ten points, and Australia, South Africa and Argentina sitting behind all level on nine points.


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