Damian Willemse kicked an injury-time penalty to give the Springboks a dramatic 32-29 victory over Wales in a first Test thriller in Pretoria on Saturday.
The Springboks, who trailed by 15 points after a woeful first half performance, took full advantage of Wales’ ill-discipline to snatch victory.
Wales received no fewer than FOUR yellow cards during the match and finished with just 13 players on the field.
Who stood out – and who flopped badly – for the Springboks?
All scores out of 10
Jasper Wiese in action during the Test between South Africa and Wales at Loftus Versfeld on 2 July 2022 in Pretoria. Photo: Anton Geyser/Gallo Images
15. Damian Willemse – 7
Carried for 128 metres, but was at times too selfish. Played better when moved to flyhalf in the second half. Took over goal-kicking in the second half, with mixed results. Kept his nerve to slot the match-winning kick.
14. Cheslin Kolbe – 7
Some great kick-chasing and tackles – as always for the right-wing. Scored a crucial try in a match of limited opportunities.
13. Lukhanyo Am – 6
Won a penalty turnover early in second half and more effective on attack after the break. Decent all round game.
12. Damian de Allende – 8
Powerful as always in what was one of his better Test for the Springboks. Showed great vision in setting up Cheslin Kolbe’s try.
11. Makazole Mapimpi – 6
Not a day when the match flowed his way. Did his job.
10. Elton Jantjies – 2
Shocker! His first kick hit the uprights from an easy position and then missed another sitter. Kicked a penalty out behind the corner flag and displayed some very poor options. Pulled at half-time. Springbok fans will be praying Handre Pollard is fit for the second Test in Bloemfontein.
9. Faf de Klerk – 4
Well below par. His service was not as accurate as it should have been. Needs to up his game.
8. Jasper Wiese – 8
Started with a knock-on from an up-and-under and then penalised for a no-arms tackle. Carried strongly throughout the Test with 19 runs earning him 54 metres. Official man of the match, but still faces stiff opposition for his place in the team.
7. Franco Mostert – 6
Worked hard off the ball.Not flash, but efficient.
6. Siya Kolisi (captain) – 5
Showed spirit, but generally a quiet day by his high standards.
5. Lood de Jager – 5
Penalised for an off-the-ball tackle, but made an impressive 13 tackles.
4. Eben Etzebeth – 6
Early lineout steal and kick-charge down inside Wales’ 22m area. Surprisingly struggled to get over the advantage line with ball in hand.
3. Frans Malherbe – 5
Quiet day at the office and struggled to impose himself in the scrums.
2. Bongi Mbonambi – 6
Made a slow start, but upped the tempo thereafter. Scored the Springboks’ first try early in the second half to kick-start their comeback.
1. Ox Nche – 5
Solid in the scrums. Made little impact elsewhere on the park.
23. Willie le Roux (on for Elton Jantjies – half-time) – 8
Showed his creative value to the Springboks by setting up Kolbe’s try and provided a much-needed spark to the backline in the second half.