Sunday, June 15, 2008
South Africa stuttered to a 37-21 victory over the Six Nations Champions at Loftus Versveld in Pretoria on Saturday . The win means that the Boks take the series 2-0, but were their own worst enemies as the Welsh defended stoutly and refused to let them repeat their exploits of the week prior.
Early tries from Jean De Villiers and Ricky Januarie had it looking like wed see another rout from the home side, but Wales came back nicely with a stunning try by scrum half Gareth Cooper after some quick thinking at the front of the lineout.
The first twenty minutes of the game saw South Africa experimenting with an expansive game that saw some intricate backline moves and very little structure, exactly what won them the World Cup last year. It didnt work and it was clear to see that theyd need to change tactics if they wanted to secure the win, with the turning point in the match being Coopers try.
The gutsy Welsh defence, who only conceded two tries during the entire Six Nations campaign, was as strong as ever, and a far more difficult nut to crack this week than last.
The brilliance of Shane Williams, (and a lovely kick ahead for him by Bakkies Botha!) put Wales in the lead after 32 minutes. Williams scooped up the loose ball with ease, then shot down the left wing with four would-be defenders ahead of him. He darted inside, then out, dazzling them with his speed and proven finishing ability from open play to score a memorable Welsh try, adding to his prolific try scoring ratio.
It wasn't enough though, as the Boks brought on fresh replacements in the second half, which brought with them added impetus and control. Another close range try for De Villiers, some good kicking by ever impressive flyhalf Butch James, and a late try from Bismarck Du Plessis all meant that it was job done, and a successful series win for new coach Peter De Villiers.
PLEASE NOTE: This video has been removed by Mediazone, who own the rights to the footage and no longer allow us to use it. Apologies from our side.