An under-pressure Springbok side clinched a 2 – 1 series victory over a vastly improved Welsh side with a 30 – 14 win.
Celebrating two milestones with Eben Etzabeth hitting 100 test caps and Bongi Mbonambi bringing up 50 caps, the Boks put in an improved performance to put the Welsh away.
In similar vein to the first two tests, the fixture was an arm wrestle. Unlike those two contests however the Springboks got off to a fast start racing into a 10 – 0 lead.
Last week’s captain Handre Pollard showed his physicality as he barged through two Welsh forwards to score the opening try.
Wales struck back quickly through flanker Tom Reffell, Dan Biggar missed the conversion to leave South Africa 5 points ahead.
Crucially it would be the next try right before halftime that gave South Africa a valuable 17 – 8 lead at the break.
The second forty was a back-and-forth affair, South Africa scored the only try of the half as captain Siya Kolisi bashed his way over to put the hosts two scores ahead.
“It’s been a tough series, definitely what we needed to start the season.”
Here’s Siya Kolisi’s reaction to the series win as well as a few words for Eben Etzebeth and Bongi Mbonambi 💬#RSAvWAL
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) July 16, 2022
Pollard was on point with his kicking all evening landing three conversion and three penalties to keep the Boks in front from start to finish.
Wayne Pivac’s side showed that they have come a long way since the Six Nations, picking up the win in Bloemfontein will make the tour a success.
Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus will have plenty to think about before a wounded All Blacks side arrive in the Republic.
The World Champions have chopped and changed throughout the series and only time will tell if it helps their World Cup chances.
In the short term, the Boks will have to deal with an All-Black side who themselves have struggled following a comprehensive first home series loss to Ireland.
Word coming from the Bok camp is that they will once again split their resources throughout the Rugby Championship. Sending a group of players to Australia to prepare for the Wallabies whilst the home-based players take on the All Blacks.
Playing style has been called into question for the Boks this series as there appears to have been little variation from what worked in 2019.
Erasmus and co have proven they know how to put it all together when it counts. Picking up wins over the All Blacks and a strong performance in the Rugby Championship will ease the pressure on the set-up just over a year out from the World Cup.