Wales ease past disorganized Springboks to earn a 27-13 win over South Africa with a late try from flanker Justin Tipuric. It was far from an open game however, with few chances created.
The first half was a close encounter, mainly dominated by forward play and slow ball, ending 12-6 (the score of the last Wales victory over South Africa in Cardiff) and all points from the tee. This was mainly down to solid defense, but also poor finishing abilities, both sides never really threatened the other’s tryline, with Wales’ Jonathan Davies leading the only decent chance of the half.
At this stage it was the Welsh forwards in Gethin Jenkins and Tipuric who were giving the men in red the vital edge.
The second half kicked off with a yellow to South African, Faf De Klerk. While Klerk was off the pitch Wales added 8 points,= and the first try of the game via Ken Owens, who pushed his way over the line from a well constructed driving maul. It was at this point in the game where the Springboks started to slow the game down, walking to line-outs and fiddling with shoelaces at scrum time.
Wales failed to create any more chances to put the Boks away and with several changes coming on to the field soon after Uzair Cassiem crossed the whitewash to close the gap to seven.
It was the Ospreys man, Justin Tipuric who sealed the win on 76mins, with a darting run, slicing through the South African defence to leave the worst Springboks side ever down by 14.
Man of the match rightfully went to Tipuric, but Gethin Jenkins also put a huge shift in before being replaced by Nicky Smith, winning key turnovers to help Wales start up attacks.
It was also good to see Liam Williams and George North run with ball in hand and keep the ball alive, until Williams was replaced by Sam Davies who saw his first cap at full back.
Take away points
Overall Wales leave the autumn with three out of four wins, but performances down on what should be expected and wins against awful sides. The only loss accumulating from the one genuinely good side they played. This will no doubt give Rob Howley a vote of confidence from the WRU board who set a minimum of two wins out for this autumn.
South Africa will have a tough few months of decisions ahead. Will Coetzee go, probably. Getting the side performing again to the fierce level they were in 2007 and stopping the rot that is pushing the South Africans into a laughing stock.