Wales hang tough to edge out South Africa

Springboks recover from poor first half but come up short in Cardiff

 Wales’ Scott Andrews after his shirt is pulled over his head. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Wales’ Scott Andrews after his shirt is pulled over his head. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

 

Wales 24 South Africa 22

A second half penalty from Leigh Halfpenny allowed Wales to hold off South Africa and emerge narrow 24-22 victors in their test at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Wales had been 21-3 ahead just past the half-hour mark but South Africa fought back to take a 22-21 lead. However, the home side won the crucial penalty to regain the lead, which they held onto with some tenacious defending in the last 13 minutes.

Leigh Halfpenny kicks the winning penalty against South Africa. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leigh Halfpenny kicks the winning penalty against South Africa. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

New Zealand-born centre Hadleigh Parkes, who only became eligible to play for the Welsh on Friday, scored twice on his test debut with his centre partner Scott Williams also crossing the line.

South Africa’s forward dominance produced tries for Warrick Gelant, Handre Pollard and Jesse Kriel but handling errors cost them in their final game of a month-long European tour.

Parkes said he felt humbled and honoured after scoring twice in a “dream” debut. The 30-year-old former sheep farmer scored twice in the first half and was named man of the match.

He told BBC1: “It’s been amazing, a dream come true. I never thought this day would come and I’m just extremely humbled by the opportunity.

“It’s a huge privilege and an honour to come out here and play in front of a fantastic stadium and a fantastic crowd. It’s a lovely country. You dream of these kinds of days, so very happy.”

Wales: Halfpenny; Amos, S Williams, Parkes, S Evans; Biggar, A Davies; R Evans, Dacey, Andrews; Hill, A Jones; Shingler, Navidi, Faletau. Replacements: Patchell for Biggar (46 mins), W Jones for R Evans (48 mins), Lydiate for Navidi (75 mins). Not Used: Dee, R Jones, S. Davies, Webb, Watkin.

South Africa: Coetzee; Leyds, J Kriel, Venter, Gelant; Pollard, Cronje; Kitshoff, Marx, W Louw; Etzebeth, de Jager; Kolisi, du Toit, Du Preez. Replacements: Am for Coetzee (77 mins), Jantjies for Pollard (71 mins), Schreuder for Cronje (71 mins), Mbonambi for Marx (71 mins), Nyakane for W Louw (69 mins), T Mohoje for Etzebeth (41 mins), Cassiem for Du Preez (77 mins). Not Used: Dreyer.

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