Planet Rugby

Springboks resist Welsh comeback

09th November 2013 19:23

Share:

South Africa s Jean de Villiers C goes over for a try despite the efforts of Wales Jonathan Davies L and Wales Mike Phillips

Brilliant try: Jean de Villiers

South Africa kicked their November tour off with a 24-15 victory over Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday.

The pre-game hype revolved around Wales being billed as a pseudo-Lions team, but unlike what we saw in Australia, this team in red was unable to out-muscle their southern hemisphere opponents as the Springboks used their big men and rolling maul to devastating effect, outscoring the Six Nations champions three tries to none.

After twenty minutes Wales looked set for a drubbing as the visitors raced to a 17-6 lead. The tourists led 17-12 at the break but saw the hosts fight back to cut the gap to just two points heading into the final quarter.

The truth be told, Wales never really got on top of their visitors and had to rely on all their points coming from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny.

Halfpenny and MornÚ Steyn traded early penalties as referee Alain Rolland stamped his authority on the game. The message was clear, there would be no leeway at the ruck and the penalties would flow thick and fast.

Jonathan Davies made his second break of the opening seven minutes to set up more points for Wales, again a penalty on the deck, but the Springboks would reply with their first try.

A brilliant 50-odd metre break from Bryan Habana had the Welsh defence scrambling. Bismarck du Plessis was up in support and left Liam Williams seeing stars as he charged forward before finding skipper Jean de Villiers, who showed outstanding skill to latch onto the pass behind his back and crash over.

Steyn's conversion put South Africa 10-6 ahead as the hosts were forced to re-jig their back-line with both Davies and Liam Williams forced off after 12 minutes.

The Springboks' second try was soon to follow, a display of pure power, as Du Plessis muscled his way over off the back of a rolling maul. Steyn's conversion was his last contribution as he too was forced from the field, meaning Pat Lambie moved to fly-half with the scores at 17-6.

Halfpenny pulled six points back via two more ruck penalties to keep Wales in the contest and when Francois Louw was yellow carded for a bit of unnecessary argy-bargy just before the break, the home side and the home crowd, were in much higher spirits as the teams swapped ends at 17-12.

The scores would not budge until the 55th minute when Halfpenny found the target for the fifth time in five attempts to cut the deficit to just two points.

Confusion reigned when Rolland sent off both Gethin Jenkins and Coenie Oosthuizen (who had only just come on) as his patience ran out with the consistent collapsed scrums. Ten minutes of uncontested scrums followed.

South Africa's third try was made in Japan as Fourie du Preez and Jaque Fourie combined to give their side some breathing room. Du Preez's deft chip down the touchline was collect by the veteran centre, who miraculously found a gap to put his scrum-half clear.

Lambie's conversion left Wales trailing by nine points with ten minutes left on the clock and despite some late pressure, the hosts would fall well short.

Man of the match: A mention for Fourie du Preez, who once again pulled the tactical strings and scored a fabulous try. But we'll go with Bismarck du Plessis thanks to his role in setting up one try and scoring another.

Moment of the match: Wales were always going to struggle after Jean de Villiers's early try. Beyond being an outstanding try, it meant Wales were chasing the game for the rest of the evening.

Villain of the match: The pitch. Test match rugby is supposed to be the pinnacle of the professional game, but the quality of the surface wasn't worthy of much more than a rural club fixture.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Pens: Halfpenny 5
Yellow cards: Jenkins (58th min - scrum infringement)

For South Africa:
Tries: De Villiers, Du Plessis, Du Preez
Cons: Steyn 2, Lambie
Pen: Steyn
Yellow cards: Louw (35th min - foul play); Oosthuizen (58th min - scrum infringement)

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Paul James, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Lloyd Williams, 22 James Hook, 23 Ashley Beck.

South Africa: 15 Patrick Lambie, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 MornÚ Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthr÷ Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 JJ Engelbrecht, 23 Willie le Roux.

Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: George Clancy (Ireland), Marius Mitrea (Italy)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs SharksPumas vs Sharks Preview
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , August 29
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00