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Sunday, June 22, 2014

South Africa maintain home record with dramatic last ditch win over Wales

A dramatic late penalty try denied Wales a first ever win in South Africa, as the Springboks fought back twice to snatch victory at the death. It was an agonising 31-30 defeat for the Welsh, who led for 78 minutes before referee Steve Walsh's big decision.

After a tense start to the game, in which Wales put up far more of a fight than last week, the visitors shot out to 17-0 lead following tries to Jamie Roberts and the outstanding Alex Cuthbert.

Late in the half the Springboks came back, putting enourmous pressure on the Welsh close to the tryline, leading to two yellow cards and a penalty try. By halftime the Boks trailed by just three points, 17-14, but Wales started the second well, scoring a controversial try through Ken Owens.

Dan Biggar extended the lead to 13 points with ten minutes remaining, as the Springboks trailed 30-17 and looked set for their first ever loss to Wales at home, after a performance that was anything but what they displayed in Durban a week earlier.

Willie Le Roux had a strong second half though, scoring a try himself and helping Cornal Hendricks to not only a try, but an opportunity to score in the corner with time almost up.

Wales fullback Liam Williams came in for what was an incredible try saving tackle, but made with no use of the arms, so Walsh stepped up and after conferring with the TMO, dramatically awarded a penalty try in what one has to say was one of the most dramatic decisions of recent times.

Biggar came close with a drop goal in the final seconds, but it went wide and South Africa hung on to take the series 2-0 ahead of a meeting with Scotland in Port Elizabeth next weekend. 

"As a collective, we can be proud moving forward," said Wales tour captain Alun-Wyn Jones. "This is not the result we would have wanted going into the off season, but definitely the performance."

Following the match prop Samson Lee received a citing for an alleged second half headbutt that occurred shortly before the Owens try in the second half. The hearing was last night but the result has been deferred until midweek. 

It was a Test match of epic proportions, with multiple talking points, so feel free to discuss in the comments rather than have each and every incident or dramatic moment written about here. We'll get better quality highlights posted when possible, but for now the below clip should cover it.

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