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Sloppy Springboks leave it late at Twickers

MATCH REPORT: South Africa raced to a comfortable 41-13 win in their once-off Test at Twickenham on Saturday – handing Wales their seventh-consecutive loss.


However, the scoreline flatters a Springbok team that only managed to put away a willing Wales team in the final quarter.

After a scrappy first half, the Boks held a slender one-point (14-13) half-time.

And going into the final quarter the Welsh were still within striking distance – trailing just 13-24, having had a potential try rubbed out by the referee.

Then the Boks’ power game kicked into top gear, a penalty and two late tries putting the game out of reach for the Welsh.

Despite their set-piece dominance, the South Africans showed the rustiness you can expect from a side that has been played together for six months.

Despite the sloppy start, the World Cup champions showed they are good value for the No.1 ranking.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

(Continue below …)


South Africa made a sound start – a series of forward raids and phases, resulting in a tackle penalty. However, rookie Jordan Hendrikse pushed the attempt at goal wide of the uprights.

From the restart Jesse Kriel and Makazole Mapimpi combined on the left win for Kriel; to get the opening score – with Aphelele Fassi, Jordan Hendrikse and Kwagga Smith delivering some great passes. Hendrikse added the conversion – 7-0 after five minutes.

Franco Mostert was penalised at a tackle, with Sam Costelow opening the Welsh account – 3-7.

The first scrum resulted in a scrum penalty to the Boks, allowing Hendrikse to set up a line-out inside the Welsh 22-metre area. However, Malcolm Marx showed his rustiness after eight months out and the throw was over the top.


However, the Boks regained possession and Rio Dyer being yellow-carded for cynically going offside and killing the ball.

The Boks opted for a scrum, which became a penalty, followed by a quick tap and another penalty. The Boks set up a maul and then was awarded a penalty try – with Welsh No.8 Aaron Wainwright yellow carded for his cynical play.

A tackle penalty against the Boks saw Costelow push his attempt past the right upright.

The Boks became sloppy, gifting Wales a couple of attacking opportunities. However, the Welsh were not clinical enough to make it count.

Despite some sloppy play, South Africa still looked the more energetic and most likely to score. Their defence also kept the Welsh on the backfoot.

Aphelele Fassi was then yellow-carded – which was sent for an off-field review – for lifting his boot into the face of an opponent while catching the ball.

That was followed by a Dewi Lake try – when he pounced on a ball tapped back sloppily by the Boks. Costelow narrowed the gap to four points (10-14) with the conversion.

It got worse, with the Boks conceding their sixth consecutive penalty – allowing Costelow to make it a one-point (13-14) game.

Despite another couple of scrum penalties – one each way – the score stayed unchanged going into the half-time break.

The Boks got their second half underway in with the same blistering pace they started the match – some soft touches putting Makazole Mapimpi over, despite the score going to the TMO for a review. Hendrikse made it 21-13 with the conversion.

With Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe coming on, back-to-back dominant scrums resulted in a penalty that saw Hendrikse stretch the lead to 24-13.

Wales did get the ball over the line just short of the hour mark, but despite several minutes of reviewing by the TMO they could not find a grounding.

The Boks still struggled with their discipline, with Bongi Mbonambi escaping a yellow card after a head-on-head collision.

Back-to-back penalties by Wales saw replacement Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu get his first shot at goal – stretching the lead to 14 points from 50 metres out.

A powerful maul followed that, as the Bok pack finally took control of the game – Mbonambi getting the armchair ride over the line. Feinberg-Mngomezulu added the conversion to end the game as a contest – 34-13.

There was time for Edwill van der Merwe to celebrate his debut with a sublime individualistic try. Feinberg-Mngomezulu added the extras – making the final score 41-13.

Man of the match: Aaron Wainwright was Wales’ most productive player. South Africa had plenty of candidates – Aphelele Fassi, despite his yellow card, Edwill van der Merwe with his great score, Jessie Kriel, Evan Roos, Damian de Allende, with Pieter-Steph du Toit and Franco Mostert the most productive on defence. Our award goes to the effervescent loose forward Kwagga Smith – who was a stand-out in both in the tight exchanges and open play – showing his full array of skills.

Moment of the match: There are a number of incidents that could qualify – such as Damian de Allende’s crucial turnover just past the hour mark and Edwill van der Merwe’s sublime individualistic score – but the most telling moment was the scrum penalty just after Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe joined the fray in the 48th minute. The mauling of the Welsh scrum was truly a sight to behold.

Villain of the match: It was physical and even brutal at times, but nothing really untoward.

The scorers

For South Africa
Tries: Kriel, Penalty try, Mapimpi, Mbonambi, Van der Merwe
Cons: Hendrikse 2, penalty try does not require a conversion, Feinberg-Mngomezulu
Pens: Hendrikse, Feinberg-Mngomezulu

For Wales
Try: Lake
Con: Costelow
Pens: Costelow 2

Yellow cards: Rio Dyer (Wales, 12 – cynical foul, offside near his tryline), Aaron Wainwright (Wales, 15 – illegally collapsing the maul on his own line), Aphelele Fassi (South Africa, 30 – foul play, lifting boot into the face of an opponent)


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.

Referee: Chris Busby (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley (England), Adam Leal (England)
TMO: Mark Patton (Ireland)


In this episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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