PRETORIA, South Africa ( Associated Press) – Stand-in kicker Damien Willems scored a penalty after the final hooter to beat Wales 32-29 in a thrilling first Test on Saturday, giving Welsh their first win over the Springboks on South African soil . ,
Willems’ match-winner came at the end of a game, where Wales took an 18–3 lead at halftime, aided by two Louis Rees-Zmitt attempts, and defeated the world champions against all expectations for the first 40 minutes at Loftus Versfeld. Crashed.
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi said: “They stopped our maul and we couldn’t move forward, but the way we came back, that’s what we’re proud of.”
South Africa returned to the game through their forward pack in the second half, with two rolling maul attempts and a penalty giving Boks three of their four attempts.
A penalty effort from a lineout maul that collapsed gave South Africa the first lead at 29-24 in just the 75th minute.
But Wales, who were down to 12 men at one point with three players in Sin-Bin in the final minutes, somehow found enough patience to score from their own rolling mall and give South Africa a desperate scramble for victory. forced to
Former captain Alun Wayne Jones came back from the bin just before the try, but Wales still had only 13 players on the field when replacement forward Davy Lake pushed the score in the 77th minute to tie the score at 29–29. .
Wales captain Dan Bigger shaved the outside of the right post with his conversion effort and took away the crucial penalty – a deliberate near knock – to allow Willems to save the Springboks in the third minute after a fulltime hooter.
“It was a shame they got away with it in the end, because I would have taken the draw,” Wales coach Wayne Pivac said.
“It was a big step forward for our past performances but the discipline is clearly disappointing. I am very proud but very disappointed, this is the one that got away. ,
Wales were completely shut down before the test due to their record and poor Six Nations campaign in South Africa, which included a setback for Italy’s tournament.
But Wales had the number of top-order Springboks in the first half.
Rees-Zamit made the first attempt in the third minute as Wales stole the South Africa lineout and went from the left side of the field to the right to create an overlap for Rees-Zamit to run without a challenge.
The winger had his second position behind a lineout that went wrong for Wales, but where he reacted fastest to kick, collect and touch the ball amid South Africa’s weak defence.
The Springboks were playing in front of an audience at home for the first time in three years due to coronavirus restrictions. The Welsh quickly silenced them.
“I’m disappointed. There was a lot of change in pace in that game and we thought we had achieved it, but it shouldn’t have happened.”
“After six nations we were disappointed and we wanted to do well today to restore pride to the jersey, but we came here to win and we are disappointed with the result. We have to dust ourselves off and do more next week.” Have to work harder.”
Despite regular failures by Wells in the first half, the Springboks maintained confidence with their No. 1 weapons, Rolling Maul and hooker Bongie Mobonambi, and their replacement, Malcolm Marks, both of whom attempted from Maul in the first 11 minutes of the second. had done. About half of 18-15.
Bigger’s boot put Wales ahead 24-15, but South Africa kept coming, and center Damien de Allende fired a low kick to wing Cheslin Kolbe to score in the 65th. South Africa built up a mountain of pressure before eventually securing a penalty attempt and a five-minute lead.
Wells, stubborn and brave, however, will not go away and Lake’s late attempt again forces Boks to dig deeper.
Willems, who was selected at fullback, kept his nerve after stepping into the flyhalf and took over place-kicking duties when number 10 Elton Jantzie was replaced at halftime after starting.
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