Wales 24-22 South Africa

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The following match report comes courtesy of the Welsh Rugby Union website

Hadleigh Parkes enjoyed a dream debut as Wales defeated South Africa 24-22 in an enthralling contest at Principality Stadium.

Parkes became the first Wales player to score two tries on his debut since George North against the same opposition in 2010 and in doing so ensured the home side finished their autumn campaign on a high.

 

Wales led 21-3 at one point only for the Springboks to take the lead, with Warren Gatland’s prevailing through sheer grit and determination.

 

Josh Navidi South Africa
Josh Navidi battles away

 

Joining Parkes in the try-scoring stakes for Wales was his fellow Scarlets centre Scott Williams with Leigh Halfpenny kicking nine points from the kicking tee.

Allister Coetzee’s Springboks scored tries courtesy of winger Warrick Gellant, outside-half Handre Pollard and centre Jesse Kriel.

Wales came out of the gates quickly with two tries in the first 10 minutes.

First Williams dived over following a well weighted cross-kick by Dan Biggar which was taken by Hallam Amos who put the Ospreys-bound midfielder over.

 

Hallam Amos South Africa
Hallam Amos carries

 

Soon after Scarlets midfielder Parkes scored the home side’s second on his Test debut, gathering another neat chip by Biggar.

But the Springboks dragged themselves back into the game by reverting to type with Wales struggling to cope with their scrum and driving line-out with Malcolm Marx held up over the line.

With the visitors beginning to gain the upper hand physically, Parkes continued his dream debut by scoring his second try.

Biggar yet again had a big part to play, this time charging down Andries Coetzee’s clearance kick, which was then gathered by Taulupe Faletau who put the 30-year-old over.

 

Kris Dacey South Africa
Kris Dacey started at hooker

 

But Parkes wasn’t the only player who enjoyed a pleasing debut with Gelant touching down on the stroke of half time.

His fellow winger Dillyn Leyd began the attack from deep by evading a tackle from Williams, before putting Kriel clear on the left-hand side, who chipped through for the Bulls winger to touch down.

Gelant’s score meant Wales turned around 21-10 to the good at half time.

The Springboks came out firing at the beginning of the second half when Pollard scored from close range following a number of powerful surges from the South African pack.

 

Handre Pollard South Africa
Handre Pollard crosses for the Sprinboks

 

Wales responded with pressure of their own with Steff Evans coming close when he was unable to hold on to a reverse pass from regional team-mate Rhys Patchell.

The visitors completed an impressive comeback when Kriel scored in the left-hand corner following some near passing, with Pollard’s touchline conversion meaning the Boks took the lead for the first time in the game.

With the game slipping away from them, the Welsh forwards took the game by the scruff of the neck, winning field position for Leigh Halfpenny to put them back into the lead.

Some terrific rearguard defence from Gatland’s men kept the South Africa’s at bay with replacement loose-head prop Wyn Jones playing a prominent role by winning a scrum penalty and two turnovers.

With the Springboks pushing for a penalty which would have given them a shot at glory Wales held firm for a well-deserved victory to take into the Six Nations.

 

Steff Evans South Africa
Steff Evans tried to break the SA line

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