World champions South Africa scored a hard-fought 37-21 victory over Six Nations winners Wales on Saturday to wrap up the two-Test series 2-0.
News 24 reports that the Boks led 17-15 at the break, but unlike in the first Test in Bloemfontein, the Boks were made to work extremely hard for their victory.
Wales were a far better side than the score suggests, with the world champions scoring two of their tries only late in the game.
Wales led 21-20 with 20 minutes to be played, but ran out of steam at the end, allowing the Boks to add two tries to their two scored in the first half.
“The final score flattered the Boks,” said Wales coach Warren Gatland. “I’m proud of how the guys came out and lifted their game.
“I thought it was a really positive for us, and we’re looking forward to the end of year tour when we face the Boks again.”
Victorious Bok coach Peter de Villiers said he expected nothing less than a fired-up Wales side.
“This is what Test rugby is all about,” said De Villiers.
“The Welsh confidence grew as the game went on and our defence battled at times out there. We simply didn’t commit enough players at the breakdowns and that cost us at times.”
Wales were first on the board after five minutes with a Stephen Jones penalty, but the Boks hit back quickly and by the halfway point of the first period, South Africa had opened up an 11-point advantage.
First, centre Jean de Villiers crashed over from close range after a period of sustained pressure by the home side. Butch James converted the score to hand the Boks a 7-3 lead and seven minutes later it was the turn of recalled scrumhalf Ricky Januarie to power his way over the line.
But the powerful start by the home side, in which they at times opted to run the ball out of their 22m area, wouldn’t last as a passionate and highly committed Wales outfit tackled superbly and competed for everything at every phase.
The Boks were rocked on the 20 minute mark when a Wales lineout put in was taken in the front by Jonathan Thomas, who pushed the ball back to scrumhalf Gareth Cooper, who rounded Smit and dashed upfield, leaving Tonderai Chavhanga in his wake.
Wales then took the lead for the first time with eight minutes to go to the break when Shane Williams picked up a loose ball on the half-way line, rounded Smit before dashing up field and beating five Boks defenders with his side-stepping run to score a wonderful try.
The Boks regained the lead on the stroke of half-time with a James penalty, but they would have been ruing a number of good try-scoring chances they missed when they looked back on their first 40 minutes in the change-room.
James quickly restored a five-point lead for the Boks after the restart but by the 60th minute Wales had again snuck in front, 21-20, after two further Jones penalties.
The Boks though again edged ahead a few minutes later through James’s boot, before a late surge by the home side saw them score tries by De Villiers, his second, and replacement hooker Bismarck du Plessis right at the end. James converted both scores to ensure a 37-21 victory for the Boks.Tweet