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World Champions South Africa power past Wales in 54-point Twickenham showdown

A dogged Welsh display was not enough to quell the World Champions South Africa 41-13 at Twickenham Stadium in the Qatar Airways Cup.

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Despite the score and a spell with just 13 men, Wales stayed in touching distance for much of the game, the Springboks’ experience ultimately claiming the win in their first match since lifting the Webb Ellis Cup last October.

Scores from Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Bongi Mbonambi, Edwill van der Merwe, as well as a penalty try were more than enough to overcome Dewi Lake’s sole Wales try.

Missing an early shot at goal, Jordan Hendrikse got his first international points converting a sublime one-two that saw Kriel carve through the Welsh back-line.

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Sam Costelow immediately pulled three back for Wales, scoring from in front of the posts.

Seemingly with the entirety of Clapham out to greet the World Champions, Faf de Klerk worked his magic to put Evan Roos through a hole, charging 50 metres to just shy of the try-line.

Down to 14 and then to 13 men, Rio Dyer saw yellow before Aaron Wainwright joined him in the bin for collapsing a maul, awarding the Boks a penalty try.

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Penalty advantage apparently over after South Africa’s scrum demolition, Liam Williams chanced an offload in space triggering a tirade of offloads mid-way through the first half.

It must have been someone’s birthday as referee Chris Busby handed out another first half card, full-back Aphelele Fassi sin-binned for a dangerous mid-air kick on Taine Plumtree.

Retrieving his own stolen line-out, captain Lake crashed over in the corner to bring his side within one score.

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From one score to a one-point game, Costelow slotting another penalty to bring the score to 14-13 at half-time.

The second half starting as a mirror of the first, hands down the line putting Mapimpi in the corner, with Hendrikse’s conversion stretching the lead further.

A cheering crowd for perhaps the Boks’ greatest ever captain Siya Kolisi took the pressure off Hendriske as he bisected the posts with another penalty attempt.

The birthday party must have ended at half time, Ben Carter escaping a card of his own for a high shot on replacement Frans Malherbe, South Africa pinning Wales in their own corner for a line-out.

Remaining determined despite South Africa’s power, the Welsh pack drove over the try-line only to be deemed held up after a thorough TMO check.

Escaping yet another card, Mbonambi found himself penalised for a high hit of his own 60 minutes in, only for Wales to lose the ball in the resulting play.

From 55 metres out, replacement fly-half Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu extended their lead to 14 points, with Mbonambi pushing the game out of sight as he powered over from a line-out maul.

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Just minutes left on the clock and the match already in the bag, van der Merwe’s pace saw him slice past the Welsh defence to score between the sticks as he was named as the official player of the match.


  • Henry Ollis-Brown

    Henry is a sports journalist with a passion for rugby and motorsports. He is a keen supporter of Harlequins and England rugby. He can normally be found researching an obscure fact to put into an article.