South Africa won a decisive third test 30-14 versus Wales on Saturday (Jul 16) to secure the series 2-1 and halt a run of northern hemisphere victories after success for Ireland and England earlier in the day.
Flyhalf Handre Polland scored 20 points, including the first try, as the world champions outscored the tourists three tries to one.
Bongi Mbonambi and captain Siya Kolisi added the other Springbok scores with Pollard kicking three conversions and three penalties.
Thomas Reffell went over for the Welsh try and skipper Dan Bigger added three penalties for the tourists, who upset the hosts in last week’s second test in Bloemfontein to set up a series decider.
“We approached it as a final,” Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said. “It was a tough series but exactly what we needed to start our season.
“A lot of players got opportunities and that was important for us for the future.”
Earlier on Saturday, Ireland claimed their first ever series victory in New Zealand, while England also won 2-1 in Australia as those two sides flexed their muscles a little over a year out from the next Rugby World Cup in France.
Wales were in contention for most of the match in Cape Town but ultimately succumbed to the supremacy of the Bok pack in a game in which both backlines failed to fire and it was instead an arm-wrestle among the forwards.
The Boks love that and with their 6-2 split on the bench, were able to up the power game in the final 20 minutes to take the contest away from the visitors.
They turned down numerous kicks for goal in search of tries and got the first when Pollard scrambled over from close-range after 15 minutes.
Wales struck back straight away as they finally got their hands on the ball and moved through the phases, stretching the Boks out wide before Reffell was able to cross in the corner.
The visitors moved through a few gears and began to see a lot more territory, but the Boks got the next score, again using their brawn, as Mbonambi was able to cross the line from a driving maul and the home side led 17-8 at halftime.
Biggar reduced the deficit with two penalties early in the second period, but the next, and decisive, try went to the hosts.
Wales’ repeated infringements in their own 22 continued, as did the leniency from English referee Matthew Carley to not show them a yellow card, but as the Boks refused the kicks for posts, Kolisi crossed as they pulled away on the scoreboard again.
“We can be very proud,” Biggar declared. “We said it was important to raise our standard in the last 20 minutes but South Africa squeezed us and we couldn’t get a foothold in the game.”