Planet Rugby

Springboks get out of jail

21st June 2014 15:57

Share:

South Africa s wing Cornal Hendricks C is tackled by Wales

Game changer: Cornal Hendricks

A 77th-minute penalty try saw South Africa come from behind to edge Wales 31-30 in a drama-filled encounter in Nelspruit on Saturday.

Wales looked on course to record their first-ever win on South African soil in 50 years of asking before a shoulder-charge from Liam Williams on Cornal Hendricks saw the Boks awarded their second penalty try of the game.

In a stunning turnaround in fortunes after last week's drubbing in Durban, Warren Gatland's side led for almost the entire game, matching their hosts physically.

Wales led 17-14 at half time after dominating the opening exchanges.

Tries from Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert saw the visitors race to a 17-0 lead before two yellow cards in the space of three minutes allowed South Africa to come storming back.

The Boks employed their rolling maul to devastating effect, earning a penalty try and forcing two Welshmen into the sin bin as the visitors tried to stop the rumbling green machine.

Hendricks added his name to the scorecard before the interval as the Welsh lead vanished as quickly as it was gained.

Wales moved ahead again as a Ken Owens try early in the second period and a couple of Dan Biggar penalties put visitors in pole position before a piece of Willie le Roux magic set up a grandstand finish.

Wales came out of the blocks breathing fire and punished the error-strewn Boks. Biggar got the scoreboard ticking with a penalty for a ruck infringement after 12 minutes.

It was all Wales in the first quarter, and Roberts was first over the whitewash after Cuthbert burst through a gap left by Fourie du Preez before offloading to send the big centre under the posts.

Biggar's conversion made it 10-0 as the home side looked shell-shocked.

There was more to come from Wales' strong-running backs as Cuthbert was next to crash over after he and Liam Williams had put their team on the front foot.

The half-hour mark saw the Boks revert to their bread and butter and Wales had no reply to the rolling maul. Luke Charteris saw yellow for collapsing one before the next drive ended with referee Steve Walsh raising his arm under the sticks for the hosts' first points. Biggar saw yellow too.

Morne Steyn slotted the conversion and spread the ball wide as soon as it reached his hands again. The two-man numerical disadvantage was too much for Wales to handle as JP Pietersen bust down the left touchline and linked with Willie le Roux, who sent it to the opposite side of the field and the hands of the racing Hendricks, who bolted home.

Steyn's second conversion meant it was a three-point ballgame as the half-time hooter sounded.

The visitors avoided further damage and struck again as soon as they were back to 15 men. There was more than a hint of a knock-on as Owens stretched out an arm towards the tryline but Walsh was satisfied he had maintained control.

Biggar's conversion put the men in red 10 points ahead.

South Africa squandered a scoring chance when Du Preez took a very kickable penalty quickly only to see his forwards make a mess of it. Matfield made sure Steyn slotted the next one to make it 24-17.

Biggar could restore the 10-point gap immediately though as the Boks infringed at the restart.

The situation got worse for the hosts just before the hour mark as Flip van der Merwe saw yellow for taking Alun Wyn Jones out in the air.

Biggar extended the Welsh lead with his third penalty after the Bok scrum faltered, meaning the tourists led by 13 point with 15 minutes to play.

Le Roux came to the rescue, selling a dummy and accelerating into a gap to score.

The finale couldn't have been tighter as Hendricks shrugged off a tackle from George North before diving for the line and being bumped out by Williams.

Walsh had a massive call to make, but got it right, allowing Steyn to slot the winning conversion.

Biggar tried to snatch the win with two long-range drop goals, but fell well short.

Man of the match: Plenty of names to mention including home town favourite Duane Vermeulen and Wales prop Gethin Jenkins. But we'll go for Alex Cuthbert, who was unstoppable in the first half.

Moment of the match: Only one option here, but Walsh's decision to award South Africa's second penalty try was correct.

Villain of the match: No nasty stuff to report.

The scorers:

For South Africa:
Tries: Penalty try 2, Hendricks, Le Roux
Cons: Steyn 4
Pen: Steyn
Yellow card: Van der Merwe

For Wales:
Tries: Roberts, Cuthbert, Owens
Cons: Biggar 3
Pens: Biggar 3
Yellow cards: Charteris, Biggar

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 JP Pietersen, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Victor Matfield (c), 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Gurthro Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier, 23 Lwazi Mvovo.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Turnbull, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Luke Charteris, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Paul James, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Jake Ball, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 James Hook, 23 Matthew Morgan

Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Romain Poite (France), Francesco Pastrana (Argentina)
Television match official: Glenn Newman (New Zealand)
Assessor: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster vs ToulonUlster vs Toulon Preview
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Bath vs ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Preview
Montpellier vs GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Preview
Northampton vs OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bucuresti vs Stade Francais14:00
Rovigo vs Cardiff Blues14:00
Exeter vs ConnachtExeter vs Connacht Preview
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , October 25
Western Province vs LionsWestern Province vs Lions Preview
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , October 25
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
Glasgow 37 - 10 BathGlasgow vs Bath Report
Leicester 25 - 18 UlsterLeicester vs Ulster Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
LOU Rugby 28 - 18 London WelshLOU Rugby vs London Welsh Report
Cardiff Blues 37 - 14 Grenoble
Stade Francais 22 - 38 Newport Gwent D'gons
Bayonne 30 - 24 Exeter
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
Zebre 24 - 33 Oyonnax
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615