Gutsy Boks come up short

Two tries from Kiwi import Hadleigh Parkes helped Wales stave off a Springbok fightback for a 24-22 victory in Cardiff on Saturday.

Wales streaked into a 21-10 at the break, underwritten by two quickfire tries in the first quarter, both capitalising on South Africa’s kick-coverage vulnerability. The Boks clawed back after halftime time and claimed temporary ownership of the lead before a late penalty gave Wales the win.

A Dan Biggar masterclass in the opening stages left the Springboks reeling. First, the Wales flyhalf launched a cross-kick that found Hallam Amos, who set Scott Williams up for the opening try in the fifth minute, which Leigh Halfpenny converted.

Then, three minutes later, Biggar chipped the ball through for Parkes to gather and score. Once again, Halfpenny added the extras.

Malcolm Marx thought he had powered his way over at the other end in the 19th minute, but TMO Rowan Kitt was less convinced and awarded the Springboks nothing more than a five-metre scrum.

With 10 minutes left of the first 40, Josh Navidi was penalised for a high tackle on Handré Pollard. The fly-half then stepped up to the tee and put South Africa on the board.

However, it seemed that every silver lining preceded another cloud for the visitors. In the 33rd minute, Wales scored their third try. Andries Coetzee’s charged-down kick was chased by Taulupe Faletau, who passed inside to Parkes for yet another finish.

On the stroke of half-time, Warrick Gelant pulled a try back on his first start. Dillyn Leyds initiated a counter-attack for the Springboks and Jesse Kriel put a clever kick through for the Blue Bulls youngster to chase and dot down. Pollard nailed a well-executed conversion kick.

The Springboks picked up where they left off at the start of the second half, and after a sustained spell of pressure, Pollard went over for their second try six minutes in. However, he failed to convert this time.

In the 55th minute, South Africa struck again. They worked the ball out left, with Malcolm Marx getting the final pass away to Jesse Kriel, who crashed through Halfpenny’s poor tackle and scored. Pollard put the Springboks in front with a fantastic conversion.

Wales went back in front in the 68th minute with a Halfpenny penalty after Pieter-Steph du Toit was blown up for not rolling away, and they held on for a much-needed victory, ending a difficult year on a high note.

It was a fitting finish to the season for a Bok side that has set multiple losing records under coach Allister Coetzee over the past two seasons – a period during which South Africa won just 11 of 25 Test matches.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: Williams, Parkes 2
Cons: Halfpenny 3
Pen: Halfpenny

For South Africa:
Tries: Gelant, Pollard, Kriel
Cons: Pollard 2
Pen: Pollard

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Hallam Amos, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin

South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Warrick Gelant, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (c), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Lukhanyo Am

Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Frank Murphy (Ireland)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)

- All Out Rugby Staff Writer

Let's chat

  • Wesley

    Now is the time to clean house. No more excuses, no hiding behind the platitudes, it is now time to build and get SA 15s rugby back on track. Get Rassie, let him bring in a pro coach he could work with like his mobi unit and get the disco going if he has to. Bye Allister, not gonna get mean, you are not a bad guy, just not the coach the Boks need.

  • Al

    Alistair must be looking forward to the series against England. He can then break another record by leading the Boks to their first ever 3-0 home series defeat.

  • Max

    Wesley you know nothing about coaching that why you saying it. Please stop this arrogance and be patience with building a team

    • Wesley

      You are the one arrogant here Max. Saying i know nothing, getting personal and we should all blindly follow like you say you do. The fact stands the Boks and the way they are playing is not pretty and not even winning. Its a fact to move forward they must relook and the coaching is the problem. Throughout SA rugby.

  • Peter

    Max aŕe you blind or just a treadmill mouse harping on a sold out plattitude….”Toetie” doesnt have “it” ….finish and klaar and the sad scoreboards of his disastrous loses prove it!!!!

  • Max

    Peter I rather be blind than supporting a stupid decision to sack the coach and from scratch. What AC should asked is to sack BF and FS and bring in Deon and P Div or any previous WC coaches assistants

    • Wesley

      The assistants are a package with the coach. They must leave with AC. He asked for them, so he must take the ultimate responsibility. Or how does a business model work for you where the boss doesnt perform but only the workers get fired?

  • Peter

    Well said Wesley…..the majority in this case cant be wrong….its as simple as that

  • hopeful

    The man has to go….his whole coaching team has to go and whoever is chosen needs to be ruthless and willing to take educated risks….AC you have not improved in the slightest, are you kidding me that there are positives?

    I cannot watch a team run on the field with zero self belief and absolutely no direction whatsoever….we have so much talent but it’s all wast d if the talent isn’t guided and taught to play a winning style of rugby…

    Transformation hasn’t killed our rugby….it’s our coaching that has killed our rugby…

  • Al

    Which player has improved under the tenure of Coetzee? How many planned back line moves did we see this year? Where was the learning from mistakes during the year? We did not beat one team in the top 5 this year. For alistair coetzee to say in the press this week that there are massive problems in South African rugby and that these are the best players available is pretty much him saying he doesn’t think his players ars good enough…..Let’s be honest the lions, province and sharks would have beaten Italy,France and quite possible that poor welsh side yesterday……

  • Max

    WC team is taking shape.
    Du Preez

    This team is a combination if power and xfactor which with more caps will soon prosper. The signs are there. Figting back to lead after 18 point deficit.

  • Al

    But lost against Wales c team

  • Peter

    Max i see you start the game with 16 players….is this Rugby Union…Rugby League or a touch rugby side on Camps Bay beach….Hollard….is that the Insurance guy?….cause he’s sure doing a kak job of insuring we win for a change…..5 of your so called shaping players are donkey CC players at best….i think you and ” Toetie” should both go back to the drawing board….and let Rassie handle this as he sees fit…..the fat lady is in ICU and haemoraging every time a Bok side pitches….

  • Max

    Rassie will be, like BF and FS were, expose by the ABs. Last year you had all to say about BF and FS and how the coach need their input, but now you singing different tune. This year its same story with Rassie. Can I predict what U gonna say next year. I believe Rassie wil settle with AC. If so, I will have the most utter respect for him and will trust his managing skills. Peter you called for Pollard and now you making fun of him. Shame on you.

    • hopeful

      Without being argumentative or taking comments personally….do you really think he is the man to take us to the World Cup or even build a formidable team?

      lets take Ireland….prior to Joe Schmidt they were nowhere close to being contenders…what has he done for the team?

      They are faster, stronger, smarter, consistent and the team has character….this was achieved a year into his tenure…could the same not be said for England (Eddie), Wales (Gatland) and even Scotland (Townsend)?

      Scotland have a great coach in Townsend how has he taken the same players that lost previously to now being a well oiled machine with great prospect….is that any different to what Coetzee should’ve done?

    • Wesley

      Thats where you make the mistake Max. Everyone was hoping for the best. Its what u do as an employer. You appoint the best and at that time AC looked like he was it. But he was given problematic help then, him and us calling for better and experienced hands. Stick was too green and the defensive coaches barely stuck around long enough. He was giving slack, BV and FS brought on board and hoping to improve. Again hope… but game after game the problems still showing. Not enough imagination and freedom and just plain bad skill training was evident. All the while the platitudes rolled on in the presses without ever improving on the weak spots. Its tough on everyone. I feel for them all. But sorry they had their chance. Time to try again. Time to hope again…

  • Al

    It’s the same as a player not being able to step up to international level.

  • Amien Davids

    As much as I like AC as a person he unfortunately does not do justice as a springbok coach. 1. He doesn’t take responsibility. 2. He is to afraid to lose. 3. He doesn’t instill belief in his players. 4. To proud to select form players that prove him wrong. 5. It’s always the next game that we have to judge him by. 6. To conservative in his game plan. 7. He is happy for the boys to be average. 8. Cannot uplift a broken player. 9. Doesn’t know what his own game plan is. 10. Plays the blame game to often.

    • hopeful

      Nicely put…bottom line the man lacks leadership…

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