The first half was a tentative one with no real try threatening chances. The kicking game however, was faultless. South Africa number 10 Handre Pollard successfully kicked the first penalty of the match in the 14th minute. This was closely followed by Dan Biggar’s first penalty kick making the game 3-3 after 16 minutes.
3 minutes Later Pollard would clinch his second penalty to gain a slight lead over wales.
The game then fizzled out, a combustion of scrums and lineout posing no real threat. It took 15 minutes for the next points to occur. South Africans Pollard gained another successful penalty giving his team a 9-3 lead.
There was a crushing blow for Wales after 35 minutes with what seemed to look like a serious shoulder injury for Tomas Francis, it was sure to be the end of his campaign. Things got even worse 3 minutes later with Wales star man George North pulling his hamstring. He went off and again that is sure to be the end of the winger’s world cup.
Despite these injuries Wales take the final points of the half. A penalty for Dan biggar in the 39th minute seen the teams go in at 9-6 at the half. It was al to play for…
Wales came out after the half the better side. They gained a penalty 5 minutes in which evened the game at 9-9. Wales came close in the 61st minute but South Africa seen off an astonishing 20 phases to holt Wales to just a penalty.
Wales showed real bravery and take a scrum over an easy 3- point penalty. It proved to be a master stroke! the ball came out quick and they got it to tournament top try scorer Josh Adams. Lee halfpenny displayed real composure with the penalty and levelled the game at 16-16 with 14 minutes to play.
South Africa started to show some real vibrance after the penalty and it paid off. In the 57th minute the first try comes from centre Damian De Allende bolstering his way through the defensive line. With the conversion from pollard Wales had it all to do in the final quarter at 16-9 down.
Wales pile on the pressure after the try and kept the springboks on the back foot. A poor drop goal attempt from Wales eased the pressure.
Pollard gives South Africa a 19-16 lead with 4 minutes left to play. The game was still in complete uncertainty to who was going to win.
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones concedes a penalty scrum with less than two minutes to play which signalled the end for the Welsh contingent. A truly heart-breaking defeat for the men in red.
A truly heroic win for the springboks. They set up a mouth-watering prospect with England in next Saturdays final.
Photo by David Roberts under creative commons licence