Imperious Boks clinch series after dominant third Test win over Wales
Straight from the kick-off in the second half, Wales earned a penalty and Biggar knocked it over to bring them within a converted try.
Springbok flyhalf Handre Pollard goes over for the first try of the match in the third Test against Wales on Saturday. Picture: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images
The imperious Springboks produced a dominant performance to power to a 30-14 (halftime 17-8) win over Wales in the third Test decider at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon, to clinch the three match series 2-1.
It was a fantastic performance from the home side, who celebrated Eben Etzebeth’s 100th international appearance and Bongi Mbonambi’s 50th in the best possible way.
The Springbok coaching staff will however have a few concerns after the Boks saw three tries in the match chalked off and missed a host of chances, which could have seen them out of site by the halftime break.
Instead it was Wales that were kept in the match and had managed to reduce the deficit to three points early in the second half, before the Boks pulled away.
The first 40 minutes was a half of missed opportunities for the Boks as they went into the break with a nine point lead, having scored two tries to one, but had left a number of tries out on the park.
It was a thrilling start to the match as the Boks attacked from the kick-off, working their way into the Welsh 22m where outside centre Lukhanyo Am put a perfect chip into the corner for wing Makazole Mapimpi to catch and go over, only for him to have stepped out with the try overturned.
A penalty in the build however allowed flyhalf Handre Pollard to knock over the first points of the game, putting them 3-0 up after five minutes.
Three minutes later and it was inside centre Damian de Allende’s turn to think he had scored after getting a short ball off a maul, but the TMO adjudged him to have been short.
Finally the Boks got the try their absolute dominance deserved in the 15th minutes, as after a number of huge scrums and scrum penalties in Wales 22m, a quick tap then saw the ball spread, with Handre Pollard getting a flat ball to smash over to score, before knocking over the conversion for a 10-0 lead.
Against the run of play Wales then hit back, utilising their first bit of territory in the Boks 22m to earn some space out wide as flank Tommy Reffell went over for an unconverted try, with the score 10-5 after 19 minutes.
The home side then lost wing Cheslin Kolbe to injury in the 21st minute, before missing a few more chances, which allowed Wales to cut the deficit to two points in the 34th minute through a penalty to flyhalf Dan Biggar.
The Boks thankfully ended the half on top as they set up a lineout deep in the Welsh 22m, with the maul getting close before hooker Bongi Mbonambi broke off and powered over, with Pollard’s extras making it 17-8 at the break.
Straight from the kick-off in the second half, Wales earned a penalty and Biggar knocked it over to bring them within a converted try, while the Boks continued to waste their chances as Lukhanyo Am thought he had scored, only for it to be chalked off because of a forward pass in the build-up.
Another Biggar penalty in the 47th minute then brought the visitors to within three points, with them being extremely lucky as they could have easily been 20 points down.
The Boks finally re-established a decent lead in the 53rd minute, as they attacked from a 5m lineout, swinging the ball one way and back the other, where flank Siya Kolisi received it near the line and powered over, with Pollard’s conversion making it 24-14.
It was then a bit of a quiet end to the game after what had come before, with both Wales and the Boks missing chances, until Pollard put the icing on the cake with two penalties in the final three minutes, including a superb long range effort on the full time hooter to send the crowd wild.
Springboks: Tries – Handre Pollard, Bongi Mbonambi, Siya Kolisi; Conversions – Pollard (3); Penalties – Pollard (3)
Wales: Try – Tommy Reffell; Penalties – Dan Biggar (3)