South Africa vs Wales LIVE rugby: Result and reaction as Josh Adams try and Gareth Anscombe conversion make history

·44-min read

Replacement fly half Gareth Anscombe kicked a late conversion from the touchline as Wales claimed their first ever away victory in South Africa with an error-strewn 13-12 success over a much-changed Springboks at the Free State Stadium.

Wing Josh Adams crossed for the only try of the game with two minutes left on the clock, leaving Anscombe with a difficult conversion to win the game, but he landed the ball through the centre of the posts to make history for Wayne Pivac’s side.

Stand-in captain Handre Pollard kicked four penalties for a Boks side that had 14 changes in their starting XV from the first test win and never found any fluency in a game where they mostly dominated territory until the final 10 minutes.

The third and deciding test in the series will be played in Cape Town next Saturday.

Follow all the reaction below with our live blog:

South Africa vs Wales

  • Wales have beaten the Springboks in South Africa for the first time in their history

  • FULL-TIME! South Africa 12-13 Wales

  • 78’ - CONVERSION! Anscombe nails the touchline conversion to put Wales ahead! (12-13)

  • 77’ - TRY! Adams scores in the corner to move Wales within a point. Conversion to come (12-11)

  • 67’ - PENALTY! Anscombe narrows the gap for Wales (12-6)

  • 60’ - PENALTY! Pollard moves South Africa more than a score ahead after a baffling AWJ sin-bin (12-3)

  • HALF-TIME! South Africa 3-3 Wales

  • Wales face South Africa in the second Test in Bloemfontein

Late drama sees Wales claim historic first victory over Springboks on South African soil

18:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales made history as they recorded a stunning 13-12 second-Test victory over South Africa in Bloemfontein.

It was Wales’ first win against the Springboks on South African soil, ending 58 years of hurt and arriving at the 12th attempt.

After suffering an agonising three-point defeat in last weekend’s series opener, Wayne Pivac’s team made no mistake at the second time of asking and set up a Cape Town decider next Saturday.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber’s decision to make 14 changes backfired – he rested World Cup winners like Siya Kolisi, Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe – as Wales triumphed through Josh Adams’ 78th-minute try that Gareth Anscombe converted from the touchline.

Late drama sees Wales claim historic first victory over Springboks in South Africa

One apiece!

18:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Four from four for the Six Nations sides in action so far today, and another series to be settled in a decider next weekend. You could, perhaps, suggest that South Africa were fortunate to win the first Test and Wales lucky to take this, but 1-1 is probably a fair reflection of an even series.

There will be some tired bodies in the Welsh squad after two physical encounters - can Wayne Pivac afford to make changes in Cape Town?

And now Handre Pollard

18:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Discipline cost us,” the South Africa captain says. “Wales won all the big moments in the second half, and our discipline let us down. The guys fought hard, and that is all that you can ask for. We just weren’t clinical enough.”

Pollard adds that his withdrawal was down to cramp.

Wayne Pivac gives his reaction to Sky Sports

18:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It’s a bit like last week - came down to one of the last plays, we were hanging in there. Very pleased that we could build some pressure at the end of the game and have one last crack.

“I had confidence in him because he had been kicking so well during the week. He missed one, but got the one that mattered.

“We worked really really hard in defence and were a lot more disciplined, which enabled us to stay in the game. There was a lot of passion in the changing room before the game and at half-time, and they were very frustrated after last week. It wasn’t easy by any stretch.

“We are just a little bit disappointed we are not 2-0 up, but we are in the race for a series. It is going to be a big week for us and we look forward to it.”

F/T: South Africa 12-13 Wales

18:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

For South Africa, a tough evening. Jacques Nienaber wanted to look at the depth of his squad, but his side were disjointed throughout. They should, regardless, have moved out of sight with collision and set-piece dominance for so much of the second half. How many of that team will be involved in the decider?

F/T: South Africa 12-13 Wales

18:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rightly, some praise for Sam Wainwright from Adam Jones on Sky Sports. The debutant came on late at tighthead after Dillon Lewis’ injury, earning the scrum penalty that allowed Wales to enter the South African 22 in the lead-up to the try from Adams, and then just about keeping his feet to avoid being penalised at the set-piece with the clock in the red and South Africa seeking what would surely have been a match-winning penalty.

Try-scorer Josh Adams on Wales’ historic win

18:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“Do you know what, after last week we spoke about bottling the hurt and disappointment and using it effectively. It showed the character of the team tonight, the way we came back. I think it speaks volumes about this team.

“South Africa’s defence is renowned to be a very strong one, and it takes a lot of effort and time to break that down. The try at the end was taken excellently by the team. As a squad we are delighted, especially after last week.

“Very special moment [for Gareth Anscombe]. That’s a clutch kick, that is, and he’s absolutely nailed it. Super happy for him.”

F/T! South Africa 12-13 Wales

18:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Blimey. Wales beat the Springboks in South Africa for the first time! Ireland in New Zealand earlier, and now Wayne Pivac’s side have made history.

They, really, had no right to do so. It was a wretched game, all told, but Wales somehow stuck in there, allowing Josh Adams’ score in the corner and Gareth Anscombe’s nerveless touchline conversion to seal a famous victory.


18:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa 12-13 Wales, 81 minutes

17:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Initially solidity from both sides, but down it goes with Wales in retreat. Angus Gardner on! No penalty.

South Africa have to play. Grant Williams is on the wing, and Louis Rees-Zammit makes sure he has tight grasp as he corrals the replacement.

Back into midfield. Vincent Koch will carry...KNOCKED ON! Wales have won!

South Africa 12-13 Wales, 80 minutes

17:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A minute left as South Africa restart proceedings.

Knocked on by Wales! Shades of the third British and Irish Lions Test in 2017 - has an offside player played it after the knock-on? Now, as then, the ruling is no.

Just a scrum. 35 metres out, just right of centre. A scrum penalty might suit the Springboks...

TRY! South Africa 12-13 WALES (Josh Adams try, 78 minutes)

17:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Josh Adams hustles into the left corner! Surely not! Wales have been right out of this game for long periods of the second half but if Gareth Anscombe can convert this, they will be ahead with less than 90 seconds to play.

It is a well worked try, Josh Navidi pivoting at the line, feeding to Tomos Williams who fizzes wide to the backs. The hands are sharp, and Adams is over.

Can Anscombe convert from the touchline?...

He can! It’s over, and Wales lead!

South Africa 12-6 Wales, 77 minutes

17:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dewi Lake scored from a maul in similar position last week - can the hooker burst over again? No, but South Africa’s maul stall is illicit. Penalty coming and Wales can play with freedom!

South Africa 12-6 Wales, 76 minutes

17:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yet another errant Dewi Lake lineout means we can get a look at how South Africa assemble themselves. Damian Willemse will presumably step forward to ten, with Williams possibly on to the wing and Warrick Gelant to full-back.

We won’t get a look - Wales are awarded a timely scrum penalty! Debutant Ntuthuko Mchunu is pinged, and Wales kick into the right corner.

South Africa 12-6 Wales, 74 minutes

17:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But it all goes wrong again. Handre Pollard fancies a cross-field kick but loses his balance, teetering like a tipsy teenager, and only stabbing ten metres in the vague direction of teammates to his right.

The ball ricochets to Taulupe Faletau, and Wales can play. They kick higher and longer, Damian Willemse making a hash of his collection and just about scrambling away a clearance.

Pollard injured himself kicking that ball, perhaps tweaking a hamstring, forced as he was to extend his right peg with his left entirely unsteady. Grant Williams replaces him, which will mean a backline reshuffle.

South Africa 12-6 Wales, 72 minutes

17:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A prolonged period of Welsh possession just inside the South African half ends, almost inevitably, with an error. Adam Beard is surprised by the speed of the pass to him and knocks on.

Warrick Gelant thumps the kick deep into the Welsh 22, where Liam Williams kicks up. Wales clear, but not out of their own half, and South Africa can attack.

Missed penalty! South Africa 12-6 Wales, 70 minutes

17:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not the easiest for Gareth Anscombe. Wide on the left, some distance out...and pulled wide.

South Africa 12-6 Wales, 69 minutes

17:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hmm. Wales are clawing their way back in to this. Another lineout mishap appears to have granted South Africa possession, but the officials have spotted Eben Etzebeth’s big left paw slapping away Adam Beard’s arm as the two locks competed for Dewi Lake’s throw.

On comes the tee.

PENALTY! South Africa 12-6 WALES (Gareth Anscombe penalty, 67 minutes)

17:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And where Dan Biggar erred earlier, Gareth Anscombe’s first kick for goal is true. Wales back to within a single score and restored to a full complement as Alun Wyn Jones, just about over the bemusement at his carding, returns from the sin bin.

South Africa 12-3 Wales, 67 minutes

17:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa aren’t really putting this one to bed, though, even against 14 men. Wales earn another holding on call at a ruck on South Africa’s ten-metre line.

Dillon Lewis is down in some discomfort; he will be replaced by Sam Wainwright, who makes a Wales debut.

South Africa 12-3 Wales, 65 minutes

17:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Two more lost lineouts for the visitors. Eben Etzebeth is up at the front to disrupt Dewi Lake’s first throw, and the hooker’s second is off-line.

South Africa 12-3 Wales, 63 minutes

17:40 , Harry Latham-Coyle

At last, a penalty Wales’ way: South Africa’s change of lane at the maul not legal, according to Angus Gardner, with bodies in front of the ball obstructing.

South Africa 12-3 Wales, 62 minutes

17:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa then put the power on at the scrum - debutant Nthuthuko Mchunu gets the congratulatory pats of his teammates, including fellow first-capper Ruan Nortje, who has recently arrived to win his first cap.

South Africa 12-3 Wales, 61 minutes

17:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales are all over the place, all discombobulated and fast stumbling out of this one entirely. Afforded lineout ball inside the South Africa half, Dewi Lake, on at hooker, throws it short, but his toss to Wyn Jones at the front isn’t even close to being straight.

PENALTY! SOUTH AFRICA 12-3 Wales (Handre Pollard penalty, 60 minutes)

17:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa’s next attack is again handled by the Welsh defence, but not without yet another infringement. Handre Pollard is this time secure from the tee.

YELLOW CARD! Alun Wyn Jones is sent to the sin bin! South Africa 9-3 Wales, 57 minutes

17:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A dynamite break up the right from South Africa and for a second successive week, Alun Wyn Jones is off to the bin!

That’s harsh. Really, really harsh. Kurt-Lee Arendse had combined with Pieter-Steph du Toit, taking a switch ball and darting into the Welsh 22. He is dragged down five out, and Jones attempts a counter-ruck, driving a South African boot into the ball at the base, knocking it into touch.

The officials see it differently, penalising Jones for a cynical use of hands in the ruck. Angus Gardner produces the yellow card to a look of disbelief from the replacement second row.

Missed penalty! South Africa 9-3 Wales, 55 minutes

17:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oh dear! A snap hook from Handre Pollard. Not his best. Three points gone.

South Africa 9-3 Wales, 54 minutes

17:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa have their screwdriver out now, turning it gradually, but unquestionably. A couple of loose balls break their way, and Wales are again penalised.

Alun Wyn Jones is on, and now captain - Angus Gardner says hello with a warning about the lack of discipline.

PENALTY! SOUTH AFRICA 9-3 Wales (Handre Pollard penalty, 52 minutes)

17:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The third penalty of the day from Handre Pollard extends the South African advantage...

But his opposite number is leaving the field. Dan Biggar has been troubled by his shoulder for the last few minutes, and he can no longer continue. Gareth Anscombe will be asked to steer the ship out of some choppy waters.

South Africa 6-3 Wales, 50 minutes

17:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

More strong defence from Wales, Tommy Reffell again busying himself at the breakdown...but this time illegally. Discipline starting to become a problem again for Dan Biggar’s side.

South Africa 6-3 Wales, 49 minutes

17:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Marx has been with us slightly longer, and is right up to speed - he’s so tough to dislodge from over the ball and Wales are penalised for holding on.

Handre Pollard just about finds touch inside the Wales 22 with a leaping Louis Rees-Zammit unable to keep the ball in play.

South Africa 6-3 Wales, 48 minutes

17:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But South Africa again fall foul of the brake foot law at the scrum - and though Malcolm Marx has replaced Joseph Dweba, a second team offence of that type means a full straight-arm penalty.

Enter the bench - South Africa bring on a couple of debutants, Deon Fourie in the back row and Ntuthuko Mchunu at loosehead, plus Rynhardt Elstadt, who has had experience of Test rugby before.

South Africa 6-3 Wales, 47 minutes

17:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nifty from Liam Williams, collecting in the air and then producing a deft out-the-back offload with a flick of the fingers as South Africa grab him.

Louis Rees-Zammit isn’t quite on the same page, though, and knocks on.

Missed penalty! South Africa 6-3 Wales, 46 minutes

17:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And the scores are...not levelled! Another miss from Dan Biggar, again routine by his high standards.

South Africa 6-3 Wales, 45 minutes

17:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But this may be a chance for Wales to reply in kind. Jaden Hendrikse’s kicking has been good throughout the first 45 minutes, but he gets this one wrong, skewing it 40 metres up and only five forward. Thomas du Toit is thus offside...

PENALTY! SOUTH AFRICA 6-3 Wales (Handre Pollard penalty, 44 minutes)

17:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

At last, another troubling of the scorers - over Pollard’s kick goes and South Africa lead for the first time this evening.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 43 minutes

17:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Handre Pollard now takes to the skies, showing his skill in the air as he takes a high kick with aplomb. Warrick Gelant steps in at first receiver and picks a forward runner on his shoulder.

Pollard is back in position for the next phase, out the back of a forward pod and well found by Malcolm Marx’s blind pull-back. Pollard jinks and jumps through a half-hole, and Wales’ attempts to jackal are penalised. Will Rowlands failed to keep his feet, going beyond the ball initially, and rightly pinged.

The busy Pollard will go for goal from 30 metres out.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 41 minutes

17:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Malcolm Marx hits the mark at his first lineout, and he and Koch control the maul at the back, Wales responding well with a counter-shove after an initially healthy South African drive.

Kurt-Lee Arendse nearly wins back Jaden Hendrikse’s box kick, but Liam Williams tidies up for Wales.

The second half is underway!

17:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A change for Wales, too: Tomos Williams replaces Kieran Hardy at scrum-half.

Second half

17:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

In fact, sooner than even I thought, though it is the familiar faces for now - Malcolm Marx is on at hooker for Joseph Dweba, and Vincent Koch will join him in the front row, replacing Trevor Nyakane.

H/T: South Africa 3-3 Wales

17:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

An update on Alex Cuthbert - the Wales wing’s arm is in a sling after leaving the field in pain early on. Given the amount of strapping around Josh Adams’ knee, you do wonder how fit he really is. South Africa may look to target that left wing in the second half.

It should be noted that the Springboks have kept their trademark 6-2 bench split despite all of the changes. There are three potential debutants among the six forwards, and plenty of beef, which I imagine we will be seeing at some point reasonably soon after the restart.

H/T: South Africa 3-3 Wales

17:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa are clearly targeting the Welsh lineout, which is bringing some joy, while they’ve had a slight edge at scrum-time, too. But all of those changes are perhaps hurting them - it’s just been a half-beat off from the Springboks in all facets, with plenty of frustrating inaccuracies.

Wales, meanwhile, are keeping the ball in play and contesting in the air when they can - again, it is working to some extent, but they are really short of gainline wins in attack, which is preventing them building any momentum on the back of it.

H/T: South Africa 3-3 Wales

17:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not a great deal to report from that half. South Africa are clearly on top and playing in the right areas but both sides are making errors rather too regularly, which has prevented this encounter from developing any sort of flow or fizz. The attacks have been clunky, the defences tight, and each kicker has missed from the tee - not the best first 40 minutes, all told.


16:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 40 minutes

16:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Evan Roos thinks he is off on a gallop to the line as he gathers yet another dropped ball, but there are South African hands involved in it hitting the deck. Roos smiles as he trots back - knock-on South Africa, Welsh scrum.

Wales win a penalty at the scrum, but Dan Biggar has seen quite enough of a rather unattractive half of rugby. Tapped and chipped into the first row - off down the tunnel for the half-time oranges.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 39 minutes

16:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another chance to attack for South Africa; another rather atypical error. Wales are managing to stymie early in the phases and this much-changed Springboks side is appearing to lose shape thereafter. It is Andre Esterhuizen this time fumbling forward.

Still it remains 3-3 with the halftime hooter soon to sound.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 37 minutes

16:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The untidiness from both sides continue. The ball breaks from the back of a Welsh ruck after good work from Warrick Gelant, and Joseph Dweba sets off on a rampage up the right, boshing back Dan Biggar who opted to go high.

Dweba places back but finds support lacking, allowing BIggar to nip around the corner and snatch it from the hooker’s outstretched arms. Biggar is driven into touch.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 35 minutes

16:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s better from Wales! The running game hasn’t got going so it is to the boot that Dan Biggar goes, lifting a lovely crossfield kick that Louis Rees-Zammit tidily flicks back infield to an onrushing Liam Willliams.

South Africa react swiftly to get across to Williams, who is again forced to kick, ball once more brushing the white line on the hop.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 34 minutes

16:50 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales play to the open spaces on the left, but South Africa haven’t really been troubled defensively so far. Liam Williams is forced to kick, and it skips into touch.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 33 minutes

16:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Better mauling from Wales, advancing beyond the halfway line. Kieran Hardy puts too much mustard on his box kick, allowing Aphelele Fassi to claim a mark without a Welsh body troubling him.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 31 minutes

16:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Tommy Reffell is so proficient over the ball. All of Wales’ back-rowers have shown well in this first half-hour, and Reffell and Taulupe Faletau coombine strongly, a double-hit ending Marcell Coetzee’s forward plough with little pasture tilled, and Reffell sharply to his feet to contest for the ball. Another holding on penalty awarded Wales’ way.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 30 minutes

16:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But still South Africa cannot seize this contest despite their territorial advantage! Another dominant South African scrum does not draw a penalty, and Evan Roos is caught by Kieran Hardy, preventing him making a telling bust around the corner. Roos’ place back on his side hits a boot and spills across the floor, where Welsh hands are fastest to it. Dan Biggar kicks away, Wales survive again.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 29 minutes

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that makes Gelant’s prod all the better - Wales try to maul to create space for a clearance, but South African limbs lock around the ball, and it ain’t coming out. Scrum, Springbok feed.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 27 minutes

16:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa get their lineout right now, 40 metres or so back from that initial five-metre throw. Jesse Kriel is just about handled trying to get to the outside of the Welsh defensive line on the left.

To the right, and that’s clever from Warrick Gelant, who does have a good short kicking game - spotting Wales numbered up but short of a man in behind, he grubbers for territory. Over the touchline it trickles five metres out.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 26 minutes

16:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another free-kick against South Africa at the scrum, this time for an early shove. Wales clear their lines.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 24 minutes

16:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But Joseph Dweba’s throw is not straight! It can be a problem for the hooker, who is bound for the Stormers this summer after a productive two seasons in Bordeaux. It appears he went to throw but was forced to delay by a slow lift of Pieter-Steph du Toit - and in Dweba’s attempt to drive the throw to the flanker, he pushed it off line.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 23 minutes

16:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Purposeful stuff from South Africa, though Wales handle first Evan Roos and then Pieter-Steph du Toit effectively. Marcell Coetzee, the other member of a beefy back row, makes a bit of a dent, and the Welsh defensive line is then ruled to be offside.

Handre Pollard explores a gap, but holds on at the next ruck. Back for the penalty.

That’s three or four offside penalties against Wales now inside their own 22. Referee Angus Gardner warns Dan Biggar of the need for improvement as Handre Pollard opts for...

The corner!

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 22 minutes

16:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Trevor Nyakane has to cram his right foot back into his boot, so there is a pause before the Welsh lineout, taking yet more energy out of a pretty slow game.

And Ryan Elias’ dart hits the wrong double. Not straight, South Africa scrum.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 22 minutes

16:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that’s not the smartest attacking play from South Africa, getting a nudge on at the scrum to open up a big blindside, but then failing to utilise it. Andre Esterhuizen’s looping miss pass does little for Aphelele Fassi’s prospects of remaining in the field of play. Fassi cannot avoid the embrace of the touchline, grappling as he is with two drifting Welsh defenders.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 21 minutes

16:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Things have been a little sloppy since that lively opening salvo. Two Welsh carriers over-run Kieran Hardy, forcing the scrum-half to throw a forward pass.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 20 minutes

16:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Both sides engage in a spell of kick tennis, Warrick Gelant’s attempt to end it with an adventure across the field by a useful grasp of the shirt from Dan Lydiate.

Back to the air, Liam Williams collecting well in the air. Wales’ Kieran Hardy box-kicks up the left, and Handre Pollard knocks into touch.

Hang on, we are checking something - TMO Brett Cronan has called down to look at a tackle from Ryan Elias. No contact to the head, and a clear wrap - on we will go with no sanction.

Missed penalty! South Africa 3-3 Wales, 18 minutes

16:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

He cannot. This is even more cleanly struck than Biggar’s but the sat nav is set similarly incorrectly - off-line, again to the right. Three apiece it remains.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 17 minutes

16:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Yes, plenty of strapping on Adams’ knee, which isn’t ideal. He may have to play more than an hour here.

Wales penalised at the scrum. Can Handre Pollard succeed from long range where Dan Biggar failed?

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 16 minutes

16:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A free-kick to Wales at the scrum with hooker Joseph Dweba not getting the placement of his ‘brake foot’ right. Kieran Hardy taps and sends to his outside backs, but South Africa are up quickly and shut down any thoughts of pretty patterns in open space.

Strong defence from the Springboks. Handre Pollard and Jaden Hendrikse fill the 13 channel well as a looping Dan Biggar tries to arc around the outside, Biggar fumbling and given a stiff tickling of the ribs by Andre Esterhuizen for his trouble as he knocks on.

And Alex Cuthbert is trudging off! A blow for Wales with the wing unable to continue after taking a bang. Josh Adams is on - Wales restored to the 15 men who started the opening encounter of the series, though the suggestion has been that Adams is not fully fit.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 14 minutes

16:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Warrick Gelant is having some difficulties in the air. Alex Cuthbert again gets a disruptive arm in as Gelant tries to gather the latest ball tumbling from the heavens, forcing a knock-on.

Missed penalty! South Africa 3-3 Wales, 13 minutes

16:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hmm. Dan Biggar had the distance, but not the direction - it sails by, to the right of the posts. That’s a reasonably poor miss by his standards.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 11 minutes

16:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Both sides are weighting their contestable kicks well, Wales winning an aerial challenge on this occasion.

Joseph Dweba hurries up and makes a tackle on a Welsh player with empty hands. The hooker is penalised, and Dan Biggar will look to push Wales back in front from just short of halfway.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 9 minutes

16:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales return with a kick of their own and then Warrick Gelant is off on another merry scamper, looking full of threat as he wanders to the left. His forward stab is deflected into touch by a Welsh boot.

One can South Africa work from the lineout? Joseph Dweba collects at the back of the maul and pops for Andre Esterhuizen, but that is outstanding from Tommy Reffell! The Welsh openside combines with a teammate to quell the mighty centre’s charge and then bounces to his feet to jackal superbly and win the penalty.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 8 minutes

16:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another ruck error from Wales, granting South Africa the ball after an initial charge up the left from Alex Cuthbert.

Liam Williams puts Jesse Kriel on his backside with a firm-but-fair dump tackle, but South Africa look calmer in possession than a week ago.

That’s another good involvement from Jaden Hendrikse, kicking first to compete, allowing a teammate to win the ball back, and then for territory, pushing a kick beyond the Welsh backfield.

South Africa 3-3 Wales, 7 minutes

16:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The Toyto Stadium surface does not appear in ideal nick, particularly around the halfway line, rutted, discoloured and generally look a little worse for wear.

South Africa turn over Welsh possession with a typically physical counter-ruck, but the backs’ handling is off the mark on this occassion, and the ball bounces into touch.

PENALTY! SOUTH AFRICA 3-3 Wales (Handre Pollard penalty, 6 minutes)

16:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A simple starter for Handre Pollard, though, and we are back to all-square after a jaunty introduction.

South Africa 0-3 Wales, 4 minutes

16:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Advantage to South Africa and they play at pace superbly! Swept out through the hands to the right, Warrick Gelant scorching an outside path and feeding Kurt-Lee Arendse. He combines with debutant Evan Roos five metres out.

Another advantage, and another, each for an offside Welsh player, both in the shadow of the posts. Another forward carry...knocked on!

South Africa 0-3 Wales, 3 minutes

16:11 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another ball breaks Wales’ way, but finally some joy for South Africa, Jaden Hendrikse over the ball sharply and the little scrum-half surviving the cleanout to earn a holding on penalty.

South Africa 0-3 Wales, 2 minutes

16:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales do rather better with their restart drill, taking down and clearing through Kieran Hardy’s right boot...

And a thundering Alex Cuthbert claims Hardy’s hoist!

PENALTY! South Africa 0-3 WALES (Dan Biggar penalty, 2 minutes)

16:09 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not even 90 seconds on the clock, and the second strike of Dan Biggar’s boot puts Wales three points in front.

South Africa 0-0 Wales, 1 minute

16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And a penalty to Wales right away! Not the finest return to international rugby for Pieter-Steph du Toit, sealing off at the first ruck of the game after Warrick Gelant had claimed the kick-off.


16:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

South Africa against Wales has begun!

Match Officials

16:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

After plenty of chatter about the involvement of the officials in the first Test, referee Angus Gardner might hope for a quieter afternoon. Matthew Carley and Andrea Piardi are his assistants; Brett Cronan the TMO.

Dan Biggar to get things underway...

National anthem of South Africa

16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Fireworks and flames to punctuate the closing notes of the South African national anthem, led by Caroline Grace. An excellent crowd in. This could be a lot of fun.

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wayne Pivac and the Welsh coaching staff are high up in the rafters at Toyota Stadium, joined in the top tier by a number of Welsh supporters, flags fluttering as they add accompaniement to their national anthem, which sounds rather better than it did last week.

South Africa vs Wales

16:03 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Out come Wales first, led by Dan Biggar, with Alun Wyn Jones enjoying the opportuntity to stride out a little slower at the rear of the Welsh 23. They gather in an extend huddle.

Two tens skippering this evening, of course - Handre Pollard glares towards the touchline as he and his teammates assemble themselves for the anthem. Winner of the Top 14 with Montpellier, Pollard’s time in camp has been reasonably brief, but he should steady the Springboks after a tough 40 minutes for Elton Jantjies last weekend.

South Africa vs Wales

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The sun is setting on Toyota Stadium, with hardly an empty seat in the place. South Africa’s players have taken to calling Bloemfontein “the graveyard”, given how tough the task is for visiting players in the Free State.

“It’s such a tough place and the people are passionate,” said Pollard.

“When the Springboks come here, it’s a different feeling and the people are so hungry for rugby and supporters want to get us in town.

“It’s an unbelievably special atmosphere, we are going to tap into that and try and channel that emotion in the right direction.

“Bloemfontein is a special place, we want to keep it that way and make it a tough place for others to come here.”

Can Wales again frustrate?

15:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There has been little suggestion that Wales will alter massively with a gameplan that worked effectively last week. Again, standing up to the physical challenge that South Africa pose will be key, but the Springboks were certainly rattled by Dan Biggar and his side last weekend. Wales might like to be create slightly more in attack - Esterhuizen, Handre Pollard and Jesse Kriel, who all play outside of South Africa, will have had limited prep time in combination, so there might just be spaces for Nick Tompkins and George North to exploit.

South Africa’s second-string should pose problems

15:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Adam Jones, the former Wales prop, has described South Africa’s selection as a “power play”, and certainly a Springboks win today would be a significant flexing of their depth. Jones is rather familiar with Andre Esterhuizen from coaching the centre at Harlequins, and rightly points out that any “B team” that can include a player of his ability will provide some threat.

His return to the Springboks midfield will be fascinating, having been stuck behind the outstanding partnership of Damian De Allende and Lukhanyo Am even after a couple of seasons tearing up great trees in southwest London. Evan Roos’ debut, too, should be lots of fun, as the dynamic, destructive number eight eyes a permanent place at the back of the South African scrum, while I’m looking forward to seeing a versatile, dynamic back three go.

Wayne Pivac has his say

15:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

More words, this time coming from Wayne Pivac, looking toasty in suit and red tie on a balmy Bloemfontein day.

“We certainly got a lot of confidence out of that first half in particular,” Pivac says to Sky Sports of his side’s performance last week. “We had a lot of control in that first 40 minutes, so we are going to try and replicate that this week.

“There’s still some big names in that [South Africa] side. There are players playing for positions in World Cups and next week. Any Springboks team you have to respect.”

South Africa fire back

15:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Unsurprisingly, the comments of Edwards and others did not go down well in South Africa. Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick believes that the labelling of this changed side as a “B team” was a misconstrual.

“In all honesty, calling this team a B team is disrespecting the Springboks emblem,” added Stick.

“They talk about our team as if it’s a ‘B team’. We don’t have a B team.

“Some of those players played in the URC final and semi-finals. I don’t want to go to the Welsh side and say they have no teams in the play-offs and they can judge and say these guys are a B team.

“These are proper players that have earned their stripes and deserve their opportunity.

“If they want to say it’s a ‘B team’ they must come to speak with us after the game and the result will speak to that.

“If you have 42 players in our squad then they have all earned their stripes playing well for their clubs.

“Somewhere as coaches we have to give them opportunities and now we are in a good position.

“Our first goal is always to win and we are going to do everything in our power after the 80th minute to make sure that we are the team that win (on Saturday).

“When you are wearing a Springbok jersey you are not only representing yourself and your family, you are representing 58m South Africans.”


15:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, a bit more on that South African selection. An early naming of the 23 by Jacques Nienaber allowed plenty of debate about the merits of changing so much of a 23 from first to second Test, a decision that the great Sir Gareth Edwards took umbrage with - however talented the Springboks coming in.

“If there had been five or six changes, you would maybe have raised an eyebrow. But 14 changes? It’s overwhelming,” said the former Wales and British and Irish Lions scrum-half.

“I don’t think it shows respect for Wales and, looking logically, there is only one way to view it and that’s to give them a good tonking, as they say.

“I suppose the only way they [South Africa] can justify it is if they win. I think it shows a little bit of disrespect.

“It doesn’t matter that it’s Wales. In these days, everyone is building towards World Cups so they have a different outlook.

“Yes, make changes but not that many. I’m a bit disappointed because I was looking forward to seeing Wales take on these guys again.”

Team News – Wales

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

In contrast to their opponents, Wales stick, Wayne Pivac making a single change to his starting side. It is, sort of, enforced, with some concerns that Josh Adams may not be at full sharpness necessitating the introduction of Alex Cuthbert to the starting side.

Tomas Francis has been sent home after his rather worrying head injury last week, so in comes Sam Wainwright, the Saracens tighthead who awaits a first cap.

Wales XV: Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Nick Tompkins, Alex Cuthbert; Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy; Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Dillon Lewis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Dan Lydiate, Tommy Reffell, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Dewi Lake, Wyn Jones, Sam Wainwright, Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Josh Adams.

Jacques Nienaber is asked by Sky Sports about that selection

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“I’m not a gambling man. We’ve got a plan from the start of the series with the 42 players we selected, and there is no better opportunity to give them a run. Wales are fighting to get back in the series and we are fighting to win the series.

“It will be nice to see Handre Pollard. He is the guy who has been with us for the least amount of time, so it will be interesting to see how goes.”

Team News - South Africa

15:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

All change, please, all change. Only Eben Etzebeth missed the announcement from the conductor, with Jacques Nienaber sticking to a pre-series strategy to look at the depth of his squad in the Second Test, making 14 (fourteen) changes.

Enter, then, an exceptionally strong second string, headlined by the now available Pieter-Steph du Toit and Handre Pollard, who takes the captaincy, the returning Andre Esterhuizen and with a healthy smattering of new faces. Two debutants start: Evan Roos and Kurt-Lee Arendse are contrasting players, but performed equally impressively in the URC this year.

There are four more potential new-cappers on the bench (Ntuthuko Mchunu, Ruan Nortje, Deon Fourie and Grant Williams), which also includes last week’s match winner.

South Africa XV: Warrick Gelant; Kurt-Lee Arendse, Jesse Kriel, Andre Esterhuizen, Aphelele Fassi; Handre Pollard (capt), Jaden Hendrikse; Thomas du Toit, Joseph Dweba, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Marvin Orie, Marcell Coetzee, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Evan Roos.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Ntuthuko Mchunu, Vincent Koch, Ruan Nortje, Rynhardt Elstadt, Deon Fourie, Grant Williams, Damian Willemse.

South Africa vs Wales

15:36 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Hello, hello. Three from three for the Six Nations sides already in action on another super Saturday of rugby, France, Ireland and England all winners in an action-packed early slate.

Over to Bloemfontein, one of South Africa’s most passionate rugby cities, where Wales bid to square their own series having come so close to a first ever victory over the Springboks in South Africa last weekend.

Hooker Dewi Lake confident Wales can bounce back against South Africa

15:33 , Luke Baker

Dewi Lake has underlined Wales’ fierce belief that they can overturn a Test series deficit and make history in South Africa.

Hooker Lake’s late try hauled Wales level in the first Test as they chased a first victory over the Springboks in South Africa at the 11th attempt but skipper Dan Biggar missed the conversion, before Springboks full-back Damian Willemse booted a match-winning penalty with the game’s final kick.

A gripping contest proved far closer than many had predicted, with Wales having arrived on tour following a Six Nations home defeat against Italy three months ago.

“We will have the bit between our teeth going into the next Test, and we will back ourselves to do it,” Lake told the Welsh Rugby Union official website.

“We have still got a chance to create history. We are only one down, and can still win it 2-1. It is not a case of it’s done for us and we are out of it.”

Hooker Dewi Lake confident Wales can bounce back against South Africa

South Africa focusing on better kicking game ahead of Wales second Test

15:29 , Luke Baker

South Africa assistant coach Deon Davids says that the Springboks’ kicking game is a targeted area for improvement against Wales next Saturday.

The world champions won a thrilling first Test 32-29 in Pretoria, but only after Damian Willemse landed a penalty with the game’s final kick.

It preserved the Springboks’ unbeaten record against Wales on home soil, and the teams are now preparing to meet again in Bloemfontein.

“Luckily, everyone has recovered and are fit at this stage. We are ready to go,” Davids told “We expected a tough battle against Wales, and as we said the whole of last week, we certainly never underestimated them.

“They lifted to the challenge and they forced us into a slow start. They also managed to stop our momentum in the first half. Test rugby is about playing in the right areas of the field, and having a good kicking game is part of that to get out of your own half.”

South Africa focusing on better kicking game ahead of Wales second Test

South Africa vs Wales talking points

15:24 , Luke Baker

Sam Wainwright closing in on Test debut

Saracens prop Sam Wainwright would probably have rubbed his eyes in disbelief if he had been told only a month ago that a Wales debut beckoned against South Africa.

The 24-year-old, who was born in North Wales and started playing at Rhyl Rugby Club, gained an unexpected call-up when Leon Brown was ruled out of Wales’ tour squad through injury.

And after Tomas Francis suffered concussion during the first Test – he was then stood down by Wales’ medical team and has flown home – Wainwright gained a place on the bench for an appointment with the Springboks. He can expect to join the action at some point this weekend as Wales aim to level the series.

South Africa vs Wales talking points

15:19 , Luke Baker

Fly-halves are masters of their craft

Wales fly-half Biggar and his opposite number Handre Pollard might not earn the same rave reviews as perceived entertainer 10s like Beauden Barrett, Romain Ntamack or Finn Russell, but their standing in the world game is unquestioned.

Both players have had immense careers for their countries, with Biggar winning 101 caps and now captaining Wales, while Pollard guided South Africa to World Cup glory at England’s expense in 2019.

Between them, they have played 164 Tests and scored almost 1200 international points, and on Saturday they go into action as rival skippers. Whichever team triumphs in Bloemfontein, expect Biggar or Pollard to have had a major say.

South Africa vs Wales talking points

15:15 , Luke Baker

Wales must improve their discipline

Wales were left kicking themselves at Loftus Versfeld, missing a golden chance to beat South Africa for the first time on home soil after leading 18-3 at half-time.

Ultimately, they were let down by poor discipline, having four players sin-binned by Georgian referee Nika Amashukeli and conceding 15 penalties to the Springboks’ seven.

Wales must remain on the right side of Australian official Angus Gardner in Bloemfontein, otherwise it could prove another frustrating afternoon. Pivac readily acknowledges it is an area that requires significant improvement during what should be another high-octane occasion.

South Africa vs Wales talking points

15:11 , Luke Baker

A big day for Alex Cuthbert

There were many who thought that Cuthbert’s Wales career was probably over when he joined Exeter in 2018 and therefore ruled himself out of international contention because he did not meet the Welsh Rugby Union’s 60-cap selection eligibility for players plying their trade outside Wales.

But after moving to the Ospreys last summer, he attracted Pivac’s attention and took his chance superbly, shining in the Six Nations and now being preferred to Josh Adams – 2019 World Cup top try-scorer – against South Africa.

He wins his 52nd cap and needs one try to enter Wales men’s all-time top 10 list that features players like Shane Williams, George North, Ieuan Evans and Gerald Davies, which underlines Cuthbert’s quality.

South Africa vs Wales talking points

15:07 , Luke Baker

Springboks selection has divided opinion

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber put the cat among the pigeons when he announced his team for Bloemfontein. Only lock Eben Etzebeth remains in Nienaber’s starting line-up from last Saturday, with his decision to make 14 changes being criticised as disrespectful by Wales great Sir Gareth Edwards.

Wales boss Wayne Pivac and captain Dan Biggar do not share Edwards’ view, with Biggar stating: “South Africa can pick who they want, and they are going to be strong whoever they put out”.

Nienaber’s logic revolves around balancing giving young players an opportunity with winning as he builds towards next year’s World Cup defence, but Wales must seize the moment and pounce.

Sir Gareth Edwards urges Wales to give much-changed Springboks ‘good tonking’

15:02 , Luke Baker

Sir Gareth Edwards believes Wales have been disrespected by world champions South Africa over the Springboks’ second Test team selection.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has made 14 changes from the line-up that edged past Wales 32-29 in a thrilling series opener decided by Damian Willemse’s penalty with the game’s final kick.

He has named two uncapped players in the starting XV – wing Kurt-Lee Arendse and No 8 Evan Roos – and four more among the replacements.

Only lock Eben Etzebeth remains from Pretoria, with Nienaber stating that he “needed to strike a balance between giving our talented young players an opportunity to show what they can do at international level, and winning”.

Nienaber’s line-up contains a total of 393 caps, but 321 of those Test appearances are shared by just five players in Etzebeth, fly-half Handre Pollard, centre Jesse Kriel, prop Trevor Nyakane and flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit.

Such an approach has cut little ice with Wales great Edwards, who also feels the clash in Bloemfontein on Saturday has been partly devalued.

“The big disappointment for me was to learn South Africa are going to change virtually their whole team,” Edwards said.

“They have got every right to prepare for the World Cup, but I would really like to know what their logic is in changing so many. I suppose the only way they can justify it is if they win. I think it shows a little bit of disrespect.

“If there had been five or six changes, you would maybe have raised an eyebrow. But 14 changes, it’s overwhelming.

“I don’t think it shows respect for Wales and, looking logically, there is only one way (for Wales) to view it and that’s to give them a good ‘tonking’, as they say.”


Wales require 10-15 per cent improvement for result in South Africa, says Dan Biggar

14:56 , Luke Baker

Dan Biggar says Wales require a “10-15 per cent” improvement in their quest for a Test series-levelling victory over South Africa.

And Wales captain Biggar also poured cold water on Sir Gareth Edwards’ suggestion that the Springboks have disrespected the tourists with their second Test team selection.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber has made 14 changes from the line-up that edged past Wales 32-29 in a thrilling series opener last weekend, with six uncapped players featuring in his match-day 23.

Nienaber’s line-up contains a total of 393 caps, but 321 of those Test appearances are shared by just five players in lock Eben Etzebeth, fly-half Handre Pollard, centre Jesse Kriel, prop Trevor Nyakane and flanker Pieter-Steph Du Toit.

Biggar, though, has no doubt about Wales’ degree of difficulty in Bloemfontein as they target a first win against the Springboks on South African soil.

Wales require 10-15 per cent improvement for result in South Africa, says Dan Biggar

Click here to read the full blog on The Independent's website

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting