Boks squeak past Wales

2010-06-05 16:27

Cardiff - World champions South Africa maintained their dominance over Wales after a 34-31 victory in their one-off Test match at the Millennium Stadium.

The Springboks, shorn of several of their leading players, lifted the Prince William Cup as they recovered from a poor start to inflict more misery on Wales.

Ruan Pienaar collected 16 points while Odwa Ndungane, Dewald Potgieter and debutant Juan De Jongh crossed for tries.

But Warren Gatland's Wales side, who now head out to New Zealand in what will be an even tougher test, crossed three times themselves after staging a mini revival which saw Tom Prydie and Alun Wyn Jones touchdown as they threatened a late comeback.

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers saluted De Jongh and fellow debutants Gio Aplon and Francois Louw.

"They earned their stripes in the Super 14 and it was a just reward for them," he said.

"And it's good for us to be able to keep this team moving forward, it puts us in a good position."

Gatland added: "We are frustrated. If that was a couple of years ago we would have said what a good performance it was. But we have come on from there.

"In the opening 25 minutes we were clinical, accurate and 16-3 up, and then we caught some sort of disease, I don't know what it is. We are frustrated at a missed opportunity."

Both teams, who will go head-to-head in next year's World Cup, were missing several key players either through injury, an enforced break or in South Africa flyhalf Butch James's case, via red tape.

But Wales, with just one win over the Springboks back in 1999, were the first to settle as they came flying out of the blocks. It was no surprise to see their early pressure rewarded on the scoreboard.

Stephen Jones's penalty was followed by James Hook's dropped goal, and although Pienaar's boot reduced the deficit, it was no surprise to see Wales cross the tryline with 21 minutes on the clock.

After the latest turnover, captain John Smit's long pass out wide was flung straight into the grateful hands of Hook, with the Ospreys centre running clear underneath the posts from 30 metres.

The moment of good fortune also wasn't lost on the 60 000 crowd with Wales, so often cursed with conceding interception tries during this year's Six Nations campaign, profiting from an opposition error.

Not that Wales could rest on their laurels against a South African side bidding to continue their remarkable record in the capital.

Wales had opened up a 16-3 lead which was instantly reduced via Pienaar after the home side were penalised at the ruck by referee Alan Lewis.

And it was no surprise to see another mistake, which mirrored the opening half from both teams, lead to Ndungane's 30th minute touchdown in the corner.

Jones' wayward kick was run back by winger Aplon and the ball was finally recycled for the flying Sharks winger to crash home.

It turned out to be Ndungane's, standing in for the rested Bryan Habana, last contribution as he limped off injured after coming into collision with Prydie.

The world champions, clearly under-strength, still showed their depth with Pienaar's penalty reducing the lead before half time in a strong finish to the opening period.

Their dominance continued after the break when Potgieter burrowed over for his maiden international try, with Pienaar adding the extras as the visitors took the lead for the first time in the 43rd minute.

Jones and Francois Steyn swapped penalties as the Springboks led 24-19 heading into the final quarter.

Debutant De Jongh all but sealed the win with a jinking run saw him dart underneath the posts.

Late pressure saw wing Prydie cross for his first Wales try in the 72nd minute, before Pienaar immediately replied.

Yet Wales refused to throw in the towel and despite Alun Wyn Jones crashing over for a converted try in the dying minutes it was too little too late.



15. Lee Byrne, 14. Leigh Halfpenny, 13. James Hook, 12. Jamie Roberts, 11. Tom Prydie, 10. Stephen Jones, 9. Mike Phillips, 8. Ryan Jones (captain), 7. Sam Warburton, 6. Jonathan Thomas, 5. Deiniol Jones, 4. Bradley Davies, 3. Adam Jones, 2. Matthew Rees, 1. Paul James

Substitutes: 16. Huw Bennett, 17. John Yapp, 18. Alun Wyn Jones, 19. Rob McCusker, 20. Richie Rees, 21. Dan Biggar, 22. Andrew Bishop

South Africa:

15. Frans Steyn, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jaque Fourie, 12. Juan de Jongh, 11. Odwa Ndungane, 10. Ruan Pienaar, 9. Ricky Januarie, 8. Joe van Niekerk, 7. Dewald Potgieter, 6. Francois Louw, 5. Victor Matfield, 4. Danie Rossouw, 3. BJ Botha, 2. John Smit (captain), 1. CJ van der Linde

Substitutes: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Jannie du Plessis, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Ryan Kankowski, 20. Meyer Bosman, 21. Zane Kirchner, 22. Bjorn Basson


  • BALSAK(alias Blue Bul Hater) - 2010-06-05 17:32

    What a CLOSE game, and this team was only together for 5 days!! Well done to the SPRINGBOX!!!! Oustanding play by Ricky, Juan, Jaque, Dewald, Victor, Danie, Francois . Just not sure what CHILIBOY is doing on the bench? Where is Gary Botha and Tiaan Liebenberg???

  • jawellnofine - 2010-06-05 17:33

    Well done Bokke, now I wait for the whinging to start!

  • ZION PAY - 2010-06-05 17:41

    One would have expected a much higher score difference given that South African teams have just been through a still S14 series. This does not auger well for the boks.

  • Milder - 2010-06-05 17:41

    Can somone please tell the selectors that if somone playes for a winning team like the Bulls that does not mean he is actually any good as a plyer! And today Zane Prooved it again, HE IS not good enought for the Bok team! Abselute rubbish!

  • Koukie - 2010-06-05 17:47

    Well done really proved your point...cant even beat an 4th ranked SA team!

  • Benny - 2010-06-05 17:49

    The Boks managed a win in spite of our coach's desperate attempt in the last 10minutes to throw the game with all the changes he made! What made him send on Kirchner only he knows. A couple of players had an outstanding game - no more so than Danie Rossouw! Well done the Boks.

  • Blue machine - 2010-06-05 17:51

    BIG JOE IS OVERRATED i told a few bloggers duene vermuelen would have been a better choice at 8.Spies is the best 8thman is SA full stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.Apart from 1 run joe did stuff all.He is passed tense.The front row was kak bring in werner kruger and gary botha on the bench and oh HOW OVERRATED IS CJ thank god the bulls did not sign him.

  • Y - 2010-06-05 17:52

    Just prove once again - we are the BEST,well done Bokke!

  • Argus - 2010-06-05 17:54

    Huh? Januarie almost cost us the game. Slow, unfit, constantly "marshaling" the forwards while actually just giving the opposition's defense time to regroup. How many time to you need to be penalised before you understand the offside rule? That aimless kick on the half way line ultimately gifted Wales a try. With Fourie out we may be stuck with this weak link for a while.

  • durbsguy - 2010-06-05 17:55

    whats ricky and chilliboy doing there???

  • Andre Barnard - 2010-06-05 18:00

    I can tell you why the BOY was on the bench! But I'm sure you know

  • Namib - 2010-06-05 18:04

    I was impressed with Gio, I have always thought him too small but yes he plays with heart, well done in the line outs and well done Juan. Zane the bulls are my team but you are not Springbok material. Neither is Ricky-he is too fat. The boks missed Fourie today. Well done Dewald and Danie. The front row was a big concern. For an experimental side well done. I love the Boks.

  • ASAFFERBOYTILIDIE - 2010-06-05 18:05

    Its been a muggy old afternoon in SW19 and I still cant see the logic in sending the boys on a 20000Km round trip...for what? (apart from the money)

  • die wol - 2010-06-05 18:08

    Well done bokke C team! ~ hate to see what the A team would have done to the Welsh

  • Priester - 2010-06-05 18:10

    A win is a win and we will take it. I am concerned about the last quarter of the match. Did we assume Wales are all done and dusted? Did we assume we won the game or did Wales up theirs? @Milder I beg to differ however that is your perception. If we need to select a plonker or weakest link in today’s match my choice would be John Smit. All and all we had a good game and the team showed great character to come from behind and win. BOKKE!!!

  • Solly - 2010-06-05 18:10

    Well said Balsak. Well done Bokke. May I add where is Joe Petersen. Come on the French.

  • Colin - 2010-06-05 18:13

    Poor Wales! The score flatters them. Intercept pass( Smit at flyhalf??) and a ridiculous attempt from Z. Kirchner gifted them 14 points. Once the coach made his ridiculous substitutions we lost momentum. Danie...What a player! Juan had a dream debut..excellent stepping. Go bokke and stuff the rest. Oh yes! Almost forgot...Joe can just go home as he is past playing rugby at pace! Spies and Duane are the boys for 8th man.

  • BLOUBUL - 2010-06-05 18:18

    ek is a bloubul maar hoekom speel chiliboy?? 'FORM' selection?

  • marco - 2010-06-05 18:22

    I must admit I had some reservations regarding Juan De Jong inclusion into the side today to begin with but I must say he impressed rather quite well today especially(a)when he had the fortitude to cut inside Jones and score his try under the post and(b) when he aided Frans Steyn in holding up that Welsh try with his legs-clever thinking that was cause Wales couldn't score with De Jong's legs under the ball it being in the way-nice work son it show's one that he is thinking on his head and we do need clever and crafty players in the Bok side aswell and all that on debut .

  • Ag No - 2010-06-05 18:27

    Jeez, it's embarrassing to see a Bok C team out there, with some players from the F team, and only one or two from the A team. Ricky and Zane should not be in the Bok team, they are not good enough. Ruan should be scrum-half in Fourie's absence. What is Chilliboy doing there still? France are going to drill this bunch. I'm really tired of PdV's "experimental" teams touring Europe. The Irish and French would have beaten this lot today by a big margin. That said, for a team thrown together with only 5 days to prepare, it's an awesome win. Congratulations to the players for coming through victorious. It's good when the SA flag still flies high even though our best XV never, ever get picked in the same team by PdV.

  • Mike JJ from Sharkland - 2010-06-05 18:30

    The Bokke won, after being well down in the first half ....that takes true character .... Ricky Jan, one of your best games for a long tiime, and AFLON: you have guts and a die-hard resolution! You surprised me (and lots of Welshmen!). Well done Team.

  • Capey - 2010-06-05 18:35

    To close for comfort! Sure it was a Spring Bean team that played Wales but Kirschner is a no no and same with January! Chili is our mascott and he will always be there, unfortunately. Our forwards actually looked silly at scrum time. Next weekend we are going to see the French give us some lessons in rugby, if we do not play our prefered players. We can't afford to leave out Franois, once again what a brilliant monster boot he has, the Boks are going to need him asw he is a real game breaker. Ruan not a no10. easily read. Juan is exceptional on attack and defence can go all the way and would deserve a place in the Bok team,Other than that next week will be a true reflection of where our rugby will go for the year.

  • pete - 2010-06-05 18:47

    Too much to expect N and S hemisphere refs to use same rule book! Good game Rickie, Bjorn and Juan.

  • darkwing - 2010-06-05 18:52

    All this game proved was that Juan de Jongh is future Springbok material. Maybe that's enough. We won.

  • Greg - 2010-06-05 19:02

    Awesome week for SA sport!!! Bafana beat Denmark and Gaut, Cricket boys thrash windies 5-0 in one dayesr and our Bok C team beat Wales's (pretty close to) best side , in Wales. Love it. VIVA SA. Love this place and the people!!!!!!Oh, nearly forgot, India got killed by lowly Zimbabwe and are out of the tri series...absolute shocker. Always said Indai are cr^p and cant travel(thats why they never do). He he

  • June - 2010-06-05 19:04

    Wow, Loving it!! U would have to be the most depressed, cynical person to not be impressed with the state of SA sport at the moment. Long may it last. Go Bafana.............

  • Dave - 2010-06-05 19:04

    The Welsh mens' choir's rendering of the two national anthems was the best ever! It made up for the gesukkel of the scratch Bok team in an exciting game

  • Jim Beam - 2010-06-05 19:09

    John Smit and our selectors insistence on keeping him in the side or even the squad is a real concern. I have always been a big fan and his contribution as captain over the years has been massive. Not only was his play today sloppy and tired but his tactical perception is apalling and his idea of tactics seems to be just to stand there and tackle tackle tackle. Certainly he has come across as being unable to implement a plan on the field and the first half of todays game made me think of the Lions tour where we were simply unable to interrupt there ability to dominate the ball posession statistics. Whether Pieter De Villiers is the culprit and John Smit is just the messenger I dont know but we have not made a single step towards developing a counter strategy agaist this since the Lions Tour and we should have had a fair idea of what was coming. Maybe John has played one game too many or has been out of competitive rugby for too long but with current availability of quality hookers ( which does not include Chilli Boy) one wonders how long they can continue to carry him and whether he has anything to offer the next World Cup campaign . Few sides at this level can carry an over the hill captain and a dodgy seleection at no 2 as well. Especially in a position where depth should be a strength. Today he just looked tired and over the hill. However a win is a win no matter how ugly it is especially after the humiliating shambles of the 2009 European tour. Maybe it was just a bad game for him.

  • Max - 2010-06-05 19:13

    @Balsak, I'm not sure which game you watched mate, but Januarie was absolutely bladdy useless! He gave away at least 5 penalties you idiot! As for Joe, as far as I'm concerned, he can bugger off back to France. Can somebody please tell me why they replaced Potgieter with Kanko!? Surely they should've jerked Van Niekerk and replaced him with Kanko...not that I rate Kanko at Bok level. Smitty should also rather pack it in as he's become too fat for a hooker (no thanks to SARU for this - as they've led him to believe that he's a decent prop)...and we all know he can't play prop. Bring in Bismark, Tiaan or Gary and hand the captaincy to Victor now.

  • CHOOSE BEST PLAYER 4 THE BEST - 2010-06-05 19:15

    John Smith is overrated, poor play after resting 4 a month =3rd best hooker in SA, Van Niekerk is history, Zane not Springbok material, January SA's nr 6 scrummie, please NO MORE Flyhalf 4 Pienaar! Sombody help SNORRE with COMiN SENSE!

  • sias - 2010-06-05 19:39

    Benni McCarthy in the bok team, or Ricky January in Bafanna team, it will make no difference, both to fat and slow. It is now the time for De Villiers to ditch January

  • anneline du plessis - 2010-06-05 19:45

    onder omstandighede werklik goed gespeel maar almal nie goed genoeg vir Groen en Goud span nie. paar " has beens " en paar oorgewig en te stadig en platvoetige spelers. vertrou keurders vinnig hul besluite sal neem en na die jonger spelers sal begin kyk. Ouma Lien

  • William Shakespeare - 2010-06-05 20:31

    One hopes this selection was the coach's way of giving some some Springok stalwarts an "afskeid". May they retire gracefully. We will need to have a very sharp team indeed to win the World Cup next year in New Zealand.

  • DJ - 2010-06-05 20:40

    Rating of key players in Wales game: Aplon 9/10, de Jonge 8/10, Louw 8/10, January 6/10, Smit 5/10, Pienaar 5/10, Fourie 6/10, Francois 8/10,

  • hou by die blou - 2010-06-05 21:39

    Wel wat kan ek se. ons het gewen. well done bokke maar dis hoekom super 14 gesien word as die hardste club rugby in die wereld. die manne van die super 14 het uitgestaan bo die ander, behalwe ricky natuurlik. oorsee bokke het die span laat swak lyk. ons konie eers skrum nie. maar ek hoop ons regte springbok span bevat meer bulle en stormers.

  • hou by die blou - 2010-06-05 21:55

    @CHOOSE BEST PLAYER 4 THE BEST.Jy het die spyker op sy kop geslaan, maar ek sal nog vir CJ en BJ ook bye se. Ek dink die beste talent is in SA.

  • kiwiboer - 2010-06-05 23:33

    Well done boks. Ook maar net net. Ou snorre het amper sy valstande ingesluk. Hy kon 'n baie beter span gekies het as die een wat gespeel het, maar dit was 'n goeie geleentheid om sommige spelers uit te kyk, Nice De Jongh. en ek weet nie wat ons gaan doen op skrumskakel nie. Meerkat is verseker nie die antwoord nie. Miskien moet hulle vir Hougaardt 'n kans gee op skrummie, maar dan sit ou snorre weer met die ras probleem, daarom bly hy maar by sy gammats in die span.

  • Very proud Springbuck supporter - 2010-06-06 06:13

    Welldone to the Springbucks!!!!! Yes, it was a close game, but a wine is a wine. The South Africans must learn to have more FAITH in their Springbucks. Stop running our rugby team down, we should all be proud of them. I will be attending the World Cup next year in New Zealand, I will be supporting the Springbucks. We will wine the World Cup next year, because our boy's have FAITH in themselves and they know that they have the WHOLE OF SOUTH AFRICA standing behind them all the way!!!!! I am very proud to stand up and shout " I am a Springbuck supporter " and a " South African ".

  • Claude - 2010-06-06 07:29

    Did I see three high / dangerous tackles from Welsh players without any reaction from the Ref? It is going to be interesting to see which team De Villiers chooses against France. It is clear that many players against Wales were not up to it. Salute Smith for his past contribution and leadership abilities but he is now too far off the pace to be in the first choice team. Ricky January is another who is well past it as are a number of the experimental players in the team. Kirshner can't stand up to the pressure and there are at least three better choices at full back. Props worry me as I think they are the only position where we do not have sufficient depth.

  • fxl - 2010-06-06 08:29

    well done i think RICKY did well.fourie dup is to predictable and playing past era rugby,but JUAN was brilliant!!!!well done good that div experiment and not playing the same players everytime.this a new era

  • John Ham - 2010-06-06 08:53

    Even with poor team selection, the Bokke still won, a win is a win. Doesn't say Much for Wales though. I doubt we would have beaten the Wallabies or All Blacks with this team selection.

  • Stormtrooper - 2010-06-06 11:45

    I was very impressed with Dewaldt Potgieter, he was great yesterday. So was Juan de Jongh and Danie Rossouw. I would have liked to see more of Francois Louw though. Zane Kirchner and Big Joe should not be selected for the team again. John Smit simply HAS TO GO. He looks like a tired old fart on the team. He is fat as hell and he is WAY past his sell-by date. Victor Matfield could lead the Boks with ease. We need Gary Botha and Tiaan Liebenberg in the team. John Smit and Chilliboy are weak links that need to be excluded. Not impressed with Ruan Pienaar. Peter Grant had the best kicking percentage in the Super 14, why not play him?? It truly is baffling. Aplon and Bjorn did a good job. Ouch for odd-one who got an unfair, dangerous knock from Prydie. Wales cannot even beat a second-string team, how will survive the World Cup?

  • Clive - 2010-06-06 12:52

    A lot to be happy with in this performance, especially among some of the younger guys (and "old" Danie R), but I am afraid the writing must be on the wall for John SMIT - please note all you guys who insist on calling him Smith. I have been a long-time admirer of Smit but we have so many good hookers (excluding Chiliboy!), and Matfield seems to have matured as a leader, that we can allow John to retire gracefully rather than hang on for too long like many punch-drunk boxers seem to do. I hope PdeV is not just keeping John on so that he can get his 100th cap; the team must come first. By the way, I am 110% Sharks.

  • Octagonal - 2010-06-06 14:32

    Good luck when you start playing some real teams, you may need it.

  • David Faraday - 2010-06-07 08:14

    What is this about Ricky playing a bad game. He was outstanding. You can come and watch him play on my TV next time he is selected.

  • jay - 2010-06-07 09:51

    why take Frans Steyn off at the end just to let Zane fumble and lose points? Frans not only kicked well he played well and the game immediately missed something when he went off. He is so strong as well when it comes to being tackled and holding his own.

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