South Africa 30-14 Wales: Hosts edge to 2-1 series victory

South Africa 30-14 Wales: Hosts edge to 2-1 series victory against Wayne Pivac’s men in Cape Town after fast start helps the Springboks dominate with Handre Pollard the star of the show

  • South Africa defeated Wales in the third and final Test to win the series 2-1
  • Tries from Handre Pollard and Bongi Mbonambi put South Africa in control
  • Siya Kolisi scored in the second half and Pollard added more penalty kicks
  • Series was level at 1-1 after Wales’ dramatic 13-12 win last Friday in Bloemfontein
  • Hosts had won the first Test 32-29 but were pegged back before victory here

This was a step too far for Wales, South Africa striking a blow back for the southern hemisphere on a day the north had their fair share of joy.

After brilliant Ireland and dogged England claimed series victories in New Zealand and Australia respectively, there was to be no European hat-trick sealed in Cape Town.

Wayne Pivac’s Wales have made history on Springbok soil this summer by winning there for the first time in their history.

It meant they went into a decider at DHL Stadium with a series win possible.

South Africa proved to be too strong for Wales in the end and took the series 2-1 in Cape Town

Handre Pollard scored a try, three conversions and three penalties for his side in the match

That they were even in such a position was remarkable given the paucity of their Six Nations campaign. Wales arrived in the South African capital with hope.

Ultimately, their aspirations were snuffed out by trademark Springbok power. Wales, in bits by the end after the longest of seasons, could not withstand the second-half home assault.

It meant South Africa took home the series 2-1 and lock Eben Etzebeth celebrated his 100th cap with victory. For Wales, it was defeat, although they will take several positives from this tour.

Wales were dealt two big eve-of-match blows. No 8 Taulupe Faletau was the latest of withdrawals from the Cape Town decider with a side injury suffered in the warm-up.

Josh Navidi was the man to step in and Taine Basham was promoted to the bench where Rhys Patchell replaced the injured Gareth Anscombe. Wales’ second Test matchwinner Anscombe suffered a rib injury.

 Damian Willemse was in fine form during the match and one of South Africa’s better players

Wales struggled to break down South Africa as the hosts managed the game well throughout

Liam Williams was unable to claim an early high ball and South Africa were straight on the attack.

Lukhanyo Am kicked to Makazole Mapimpi who crossed with ease, but referee Matthew Carley checked the score with TMO Brett Cronan who ruled it out for the Springbok wing having a foot in touch.

Handre Pollard provided some home consolation with the opening points.

Cheslin Kolbe beat Dan Biggar to another high ball and the Wales captain was then second best again to an onrushing Damian Willemse.

South Africa were dominant both in the air and in the physical exchanges.

Biggar didn’t get off the ground when competing with Willemse

 It was a wave of Springbok dominance. Damian de Allende was held up just short. A fearsome home scrum sent the red pack retreating at a rate of knots even with the pitch cutting up.

It was no surprise when all the pressure paid off with Pollard diving over. As if that wasn’t bad enough for Wales, Ryan Elias and Dan Lydiate clashed heads trying to stop the try.

Pollard converted. Lydiate was forced off with a nasty head cut. Lock Alun Wyn Jones and not back-row Basham was the man who surprisingly came on. Wales looked in big, big trouble.

But they had already defied expectations on this tour and did so again to hit back.

Bongi Mbonambi was making his 50th appearance for South Africa this afternoon

George North and Nick Tompkins, who both had fine games, danced forward. Josh Adams then went close, but Tommy Reffell was in support to score. Biggar couldn’t convert.

The Cape Town pitch was, frankly, a disgrace and totally unfit for Test rugby. Players on both teams slipped left, right and centre. It made the set-piece a mess.

At the first scrum since Lydiate’s departure, Jones joined Adam Beard at lock for Wales with Will Rowlands on the blindside flank. Wales conceded eight penalties in the first 25 minutes.

So, it was remarkable they remained in the contest. South Africa also lost a man in Kolbe, with Willie le Roux coming on. Wales were then given three more cheap points.

Carley penalised Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit for pushing Jones at a ruck and Biggar slotted the simple kick.

Mapimpi’s head then collided with that of Tompkins as the Welshman was falling to ground. Carley awarded a penalty only and showed no card.

With 15 on the field and after a skirmish between Adams and De Allende, South Africa kicked to the corner and their driving maul went over the line.

Bongi Mbonambi was the scorer on his 50th cap and Pollard converted.

Wales had to replace two more forwards at the break, Dewi Lake and Sam Wainwright coming on for Elias and Dillon Lewis. Biggar immediately kicked three more points.

Am waltzed over for what he thought was South Africa’s third, but Carley and Cronan rightly chalked it off for Jaden Hendrikse’s forward pass.

For all their dominance, South Africa were shooting themselves in the foot.

Dan Biggar had backed Wales to achieve the impossible in the final Test before the game

It allowed Biggar to narrow the gap. It was frenetic stuff with the game on a knife-edge.

On came South Africa’s ‘bomb squad’ as Wales scrum-half Kieran Hardy struggled in the heat of battle.

Hardy was charged down and although Wales escaped, they then decided to run the ball clear and conceded a penalty. Hardy was immediately hooked in favour of Tomos Williams.

Wales’ decision to play out was costly. South Africa captain Siya Kolisi crashed over between Tompkins and Rowlands for the game’s crucial try. Pollard pushed his team 10 points clear.

Wales, unsurprisingly, were out on their feet. Their bottle cannot be questioned and their defence has impressed across the three matches.

But their line-out, led by replacement hooker Lake, went to pot late on and ultimately, they conceded too many penalties over the course of the series to come out on top.

It allowed South Africa – for whom Kwagga Smith produced a brilliant late turnover after an Adams break – to breathe a huge sigh of relief and Pollard made the game safe with two final kicks.

 South Africa captain Siya Kolisi was on the scoresheet late on for the hosts in Cape Town

Kolisi celebrated after leading his team to the series victory over Wayne Pivac’s Wales 

Scorers: South Africa Tries: Pollard 14, Mbonambi 38, Kolisi 53 Cons: Pollard 16, 39, 54 Pens: Pollard 5, 78, 80

Wales Try: Reffell 19 Pens: Biggar 33,42,48

South Africa: Willemse; Kolbe (Le Roux 21), Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, Hendrikse (De Klerk 65); Nyakane (Kitshoff 45), Mbonambi (Marx 45), Malherbe (Koch 45), Etzebeth (Mostert 61), De Jager, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit (Louw 78), Wiese (Smith 39)

Wales: L Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins (Watkin 60), Adams; Biggar (capt), Hardy (T Williams 51); Thomas (W Jones 56), Elias (Lake 40), Lewis (Wainwright 40), Rowlands, Beard, Lydiate (AW Jones 16) Reffell (Basham 55), Navidi

Replacement not used: Patchell

Referee: Matthew Carley (England) Attendance: 50,977 Star man: Siya Kolisi (South Africa)

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