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Springboks Ease To Victory Over Wales

  • 3 min read

A much-changed South Africa scored five tries to defeat Wales 41-13 in a one-off test at Twickenham on Saturday in their first fixture since they lifted the Rugby World Cup in France nine months ago.

It was a far from polished performance from the Springboks as they kicked off their international season.

South Africa’s inaccuracy kept a scrambling Wales in the contest for an hour before they pulled clear as they introduced experience off the bench to wrestle control of the game.

Centre Jesse Kriel, wings Makazole Mapimpi and Edwill van der Merwe, and hooker Bongi Mbonambi all crossed for tries to go with a penalty score, while Wales managed to breach South Africa’s line once through captain Dewi Lake.

The depleted Springboks had just five players that started the World Cup final win over New Zealand in their starting line-up with Saturday’s match falling outside the international window. Wales were also missing a number of players for the same reason.

“We have only been together for two weeks, so it is a good start for us but there are a lot of things to work on,” Springbok captain Pieter-Steph du Toit said. “This has given us good preparation for the Ireland series over the next few weeks.”

The Springboks scored their first try inside four minutes as Kriel cantered over before they were awarded a penalty score as Wales illegally stopped the maul.

Warren Gatland’s side received two yellow cards in as many minutes for wing Rio Dyer and number eight Aaron Wainwright as they were forced to infringe to stop the Springbok barrage.

But South Africa could not add to their score while Wales were down to 13 men as they lost continuity.

Wales scored their opening try from a messy line-out that saw Lake barge his way over the line, and when flyhalf Sam Costelow added a penalty it was a one point game with South Africa leading 14-13 at the break.

But the Springboks regained control in the second period, helped by their bench, and added three more tries, including one on debut for Van der Merwe who showed electric pace.

“There were a lot of positives for us to take away, but against double world champions you have to take your opportunities when they come,” Wales’ Lake said.

“When you take on a team as ruthless as South Africa if you don’t take your chances then the scoreboard looks like that.”

The Springboks also handed debuts to flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse, lock Ben-Jason Dixon and utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, the latter two off the bench.