Late Malcolm Marx try proves decisive in 23-18 victory
South Africa beat Wales in Cardiff for first time since 2013
It had been a tight and at times testy contest at the Principality Stadium, with the scores level going into the final quarter as the kickers exchanged penalties, but the match sparked into life in the last 20 minutes as both sides looked to close out a victory.
The winning try came, in traditional South African fashion, from a driving maul. The Springboks opted for a lineout in the 22 from a penalty, they got their maul rolling and Marx was there to dot the ball down.
Elton Jantjies missed the conversion but slotted an 80th-minute penalty to round off a 23-18 victory.
It was an improved performance from Wales after the heavy defeat by New Zealand last weekend but their ill-discipline proved costly, the penalties conceded allowing South Africa to put points on the board and gain the field position from which they scored the crucial try.
Here are a few other talking points from South Africa’s first win in Cardiff for eight years…
Ellis Jenkins produced a standout performance as he pulled on a Wales shirt for the first time in three years.
It was against the same opposition that he ruptured knee ligaments in November 2018 and the road to recovery has been long and winding with several setbacks as well as an injury to his other knee delaying his return.
He certainly made up for lost time at the Principality Stadium, his performance featuring smart link play, crucial turnovers and even an intercept. He also took over as captain when Jonathan Davies went off midway through the second half.
There was a bizarre incident in the 64th minute as Wales attacked in the South Africa half. As the ball came out to Liam Williams on the wing, two stewards were apprehending a pitch invader.
The intrusion hindered both the Boks defence and Wales attack – and the culprit was roundly booed as he was hauled off by stadium staff.
Mark Williams Principality Stadium Manager said: “We condemn this type of behaviour in the strongest possible terms. He was intercepted and immediately escorted from the stadium and handed over to South Wales Police.”
Tight TMO call
Makazole Mapimpi looked to have scored in the 68th minute when the ball fell to Eben Etzebeth as Wales tapped back a high kick and the lock then released the winger.
However, on TMO review it was ruled that Etzebeth had not retreated following the kick and therefore the try was ruled out and Wales were awarded a penalty.
One of the most pleasing calls referee Paul Williams made in Cardiff was to give water-carriers the hurry-up. There are far too many non-playing staff entering the field of play during matches and his clampdown was welcomed.
Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.
Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.