Springboks earn scrappy win over brave Wales

Wales put in a brave display but the Springboks had too much power all over the park as they secured a 41-13 win in their first Test since winning the 2023 Rugby World Cup at Twickenham.

The Springboks started with great intensity after Wales kicked long on the exit from the kick-off which Jordan Hendrikse bombed deep. They won a penalty but Hendrikse would put his kick wide.

However, it wouldn’t take long for them to get on the board as the Springboks got quick ball to spark the second phase after the drop out.

A slick piece of backline play put Makazole Mapimpi into space out wide and he would draw the final man and hit Jesse Kriel with a perfect final pass that allowed the centre to canter over for a try.

Hendrikse settled his nerves with the conversion and the Springboks led 7-0 with four minutes on the clock.

Wales accepted the three points as the Springboks were caught jackaling before Franco Mostert had rolled away as the Dragons mounted their first attack after Faf De Klerk had kicked straight out after the restart.

The men in green and gold showed great energy early on with ball in hand and the first scrum sounded a harsh warning to Wales.

Evan Roos made a brilliant run after being put into space by De Klerk and was stopped just short. Wales’ Rio Dyer was then yellow-carded for a cynical piece of offside play on the line.

Wales were pinned into their 22 and the pressure told as they collapsed a maul which handed the Springboks a penalty try and saw Aaron Wainright yellow carded as well. The Springboks led 14-3 after 15 minutes.

Wales roar back

The Welsh would eat up some of their sin-bin time kicking another goal as South Africa got over eager on the jackal again but Sam Costelow pushed his kick wide.

Edwill van Der Merwe made successive try-saving tackles to prevent Wales from crossing following an intercept pass thrown by Hendrikse. He denied Wales reward for their best period of play.

After building a lead the Springboks became a little too eager to move the ball quickly and errors prevented them from putting Wales under pressure.

In the 30th minute, Aphelele Fassi went up to catch a high ball and the referee had a look at it as a kick and foul play. Despite his assistant believing there was no foul play the referee sent Fassi off for a review.

Moments later Dewy Lake would surge over the line after a missed lineout and Wales closed the gap. Costelow converted the try to make it 14-10.

Hendrikse kicked the restart straight out and the momentum had really shifted in favour of Wales.

A stray hand from Roos gave Wales another penalty which Costelow goaled to make it 14-13 and it was a one-point game with five minutes to go in the half.

It would stay that way until the halftime break.

Referee Chris Busby was poor in the first half as he failed to reward a dominant Springbok scrum and was desperate to yellow card a player for a rugby collision. He was consistent in his application of the breakdown laws, though to give him his due.

A sniping run close to a ruck from Van der Merwe ended with him going in under the sticks and added a sheen to the scoreline that probably flattered the Springboks.


The Springboks started the second half with great vigour and went in at the corner and the TMO cleared a suspect-looking final pass and Mapimpi had the try. Hendrikse converted from the touchline to make it 21-13 in the Springboks favour.

Fassi continued to be brave in the air even after he was handed a ludicrous card in the first half.

Domination at the scrums have Hendrikse a chance to kick at goal and make it 24-13 to the Springboks in the 50th minute of the match.

Ben Carter escaped a yellow card for a high shot which referee Busby thought wasn’t at the threshold for an off-field review.

Wales looked like they were coming back into the game but a crucial penalty was kicked dead by Costelow but the TMO came in with a foul play check that ensured the game would change again.

Mbonambi gets a little lucky as well

Bongi Mbonambi was the man blown up but he also escaped a yellow card, but Costelow would have another chance to kick into the Springboks 22.

De Allende got over the ball to end the Wales attack though and in the 66th minute Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu had a chance to kick for goal and his first points for the Springboks after coming off the bench. He slotted a 52-metre penalty goal with ease and it was 27-13.

Moments later the Springboks turned down another shot at goal to set up a lineout and a maul.

The maul was brilliant and Mbonambi got over for the score that left Wales with a mountain to climb. When Feinberg-Mngomezulu slotted the conversion the Springboks led 34-13.


South Africa: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (captain), 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Ox Nche.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Grant Williams, 22 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, 23 Damian de Allende.

Wales: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Mason Grady, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Ellis Bevan, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 James Botham, 6 Taine Plumtree, 5 Ben Carter, 4 Matthew Screech, 3 Keiron Assiratti, 2 Dewi Lake (captain), 1 Gareth Thomas.

Replacements: 16 Evan Lloyd, 17 Kemsley Mathias, 18 Harri O’Connor, 19 James Ratti, 20 Mackenzie Martin, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Eddie James, 23 Jacob Beetham.

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