Springboks withstand late Welsh charge - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Springboks withstand late Welsh charge

09/11/2008 07:09:36 AM Comments (0)

World champions South Africa withstood a late onslaught to beat Wales 20-15 in their opening autumn rugby international at the Millennium Stadium.

The Springboks, boasting eight of their 2007 World Cup final-winning team, on Saturday scored two tries through Adrian Jacobs and Jean de Villiers, with Ruan Pienaar hitting two penalties and two conversions for a result that was ultimately far more comfortable than the 20-15 scoreline indicated.

Wales, who floundered on a rock-solid South African defence and dominance in the loose, failed to cross the Springbok whitewash, notching up five penalties through debutant Leigh Halfpenny and James Hook (4).

South African captain John Smit said that while it was good to get a win, their overall performance had not been the one he had looked for.

"It is always good to get a win on the board. However, we made a mistake in falling back into defensive mode.

"We paid for that. We waited for the game to finish with 15 minutes remaining and it was very frustrating," said Smit.

Wales backrow forward Andy Powell, who marked his debut by being named man of the match, said that the day was not far off when the Welsh would beat a southern hemisphere team.

"We left it too late in terms of our comeback but the Springboks have a very strong defence," said Powell, who almost gave up the game because of a series of injuries.

"We are not far away from beating a southern hemisphere side, we have just got to get the cutting edge."

The countries have now met on 23 occasions over 104 years of competition - including four time in the last 12 months, with South Africa leading the series 21-1, with one draw.

The sole Welsh victory came in 1999.

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