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South Africa hold off spirited Wales at Twickenham

27 unanswered points in the second-half steered South Africa to a solid 41-13 win over a spirited Wales side.

Tries from Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Bongi Mbonambi, Edwill van der Merwe and a penalty try were enough to steer the reigning World Champions to victory in their first game since that triumph in Paris.

The Springboks came out the traps flying, as Jesse Kriel crossed after just three minutes. A well-crafted move found Makazole Mapimpi in space, and he in turn gave an inside pass to send the centre scampering home for a try.

Warren Gatland’s side cut into that lead fairly quickly, as Sam Costelow opened his account from the tee.

Things quickly turned sour for Wales though. A string of penalties saw both Rio Dyer and Aaron Wainwright sent to the sin-bin, and also gifted the Boks a further seven points through a penalty try.

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A clever read from Liam Williams nearly brought Wales back into the game. The experienced back intercepted Jordan Hendrikse’s loose pass, and he raced towards the line. He threw a neat offload to an on-chasing Mason Grady, but his subsequent offload to Ellis Bevan fell to floor and the chance went begging.

A yellow card to Aphelele Fassi gifted Wales numerical advantage, and they made it count instantly. A stroke of luck found the ball in Dewi Lake’s hands meters out , and he barrelled his way through the South African line to score.

Costelow added the conversion, and swiftly added his second penalty kick of the match to pull Wales to within a point.

Springboks coast home in second-half

Credit: IMAGO

The Springboks began the second-half in almost identical fashion to the first, as Mapimpi crossed out wide. Quick-hands found Kriel in space, and he sent the winger over for an uncontested score.

Yet another scrum penalty for the Springboks gifted Hendrikse another three-pointer off the tee, growing their lead to 11 points.

Momentum was back with Rassie Esrasmus’ men. Powerful pick-and-goes looked to have done the job, but a monstrous tackle from Gareth Thomas came to the rescue for Wales.

Both sides exchanged half-chances in the next 10 minutes, but the next points fell to Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu as he knocked over a long-distance penalty.

This effort was swiftly followed by their fourth try of the afternoon, as Bongi Mbonambi flopped over from the base of the maul.

The scoring wasn’t finished just yet, as Edwill van der Merwe clinched the victory with a with a fine solo try. The winger danced around two Welsh defenders to race home and add the icing on the cake for his side.

South Africa 41-13 Wales

South Africa: 41

Tries: Kriel, Penalty Try, Mapimpi, Mbonambi

Conversions: Hendrikse (2/2), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (1/1)

Penalties: Hendrikse (1/2), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (1/1)

Sin-bin: Fassi-foul play

Wales: 13

Tries: Lake

Conversions: Costelow (1/1)

Penalties: Costelow (2/3)

Sin-bin: Dyer-offside; Wainwright-collapsing a maul