Spingboks beat Wales again

South Africa scored a 37-21 victory over Wales Saturday to wrap up the Test series 2-0 but the world champions were forced to work a lot harder than last week when they strolled to a 43-17 win.

The Boks only led 17-15 at the break and Wales were a far better side than the score suggests, with the World Cup winners scoring two of their tries only late in the game.

Wales led 21-20 with 20 minutes to be played, but ran out of steam at the end, allowing the Boks to add two tries to their two scored in the first half.

Six Nations champions Wales were first on the board after five minutes with a Stephen Jones penalty, but the Boks hit back quickly and by the halfway point of the first period, South Africa had opened up an 11-point advantage.

First, centre Jean de Villiers benefited when captain John Smit opted for the lineout put in instead of the kick at goal; the No 12 crashing over from close range after a period of sustained pressure by the home side.

Butch James converted the score to hand the Boks a 7-3 lead.

Seven minutes later it was the turn of recalled scrumhalf Ricky Januarie to power his way over the line.

An excellent passage of play by the Boks saw flanker Juan Smith go through the hole in the Wales defence, but when he was stopped, Januarie was on hand to collect the pop pass and dive over.

But the solid start by the home side, in which they at times opted to run the ball out of their 22m area, wouldn’t last as a passionate and highly committed Wales outfit tackled superbly and competed for everything at every phase.

The Boks were rocked on the 20 minute mark when a Wales lineout put in was taken in the front by Jonathan Thomas, who pushed the ball back to scrum-half Gareth Cooper, who rounded Smit and dashed upfield, leaving Tonderai Chavangha in his wake.

Wales then took the lead for the first time with eight minutes to go to the break when Shane Williams picked up a loose ball on the half-way line, rounded Smit before dashing up field and beating five Boks defenders with his side-stepping run to score a wonderful try.

The Boks regained the lead on the stroke of half-time with a James penalty, but they would have been ruing a number of good try-scoring chances they missed.

James quickly restored a five-point lead for the Boks after the restart but by the 60th minute Wales had again snuck in front, 21-20, after two further Jones penalties.

The Boks though again edged ahead a few minutes later through James’ boot, before a late surge by the home side saw them score tries by De Villiers, his second, and replacement hooker Bismarck du Plessis right at the end.

James converted both scores to ensure a 37-21 victory for the Boks.



South Africa:
Tries: Jean de Villiers (2), Ricky Januarie, Bismarck du Plessis
Conversions: Butch James (4),
Penalties:James (3)

Tries: Gareth Cooper, Shane Williams
Conversions: Stephen Jones.
Penalties: Jones (3)



Sapa – AFP Rugbyweek.com

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