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Saturday, June 26, 1999 Published at 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK


Sport: Rugby Union

Wales record historic victory

Neil Jenkins kicked 19 points in another awesome performance

Wales 29-19 South Africa

Wales recorded their first ever victory over South Africa after an inspirational display at the new Millennium Stadium.

19 points from the boot of Neil Jenkins and two superb tries from Mark Taylor and Gareth Thomas undid the World Champions.

Determined tackling from the forwards and backs kept the South Africans at bay for the majority of the game and sent the Welsh crowd into delirium at the final whistle.

Jenkins predictably gave Wales an early lead with a penalty after South Africa were penalised on their 22.

But with 8 minutes on the clock, Wales were adjudged to have gone over the top and Braam Van Straaten evened things up from 30 yards.

From the re-start, the South Africans were guilty of the same offence and the ever reliable boot of Jenkins restored the Wales' advantage.

The early stages of the game saw Wales rattle the visitors out of their stride and a brawl after a scrum involving Craig Quinnell indicated that the home side were more than holding their own.

Moments later, another Jenkins penalty had the Welsh six points in the lead and so far untroubled by the South African attack.

But Wales suffered a blow soon after when Craig Quinnell was taken off and replaced by Mike Voyle.

With most of the game being played in the middle of the pitch, South Africa were also restricted to kicking penalties and Van Straaten closed the gap to three points on the half hour.

Jenkins missed his first kick of the match a minute later but received another chance soon after which he converted successfully.

To underline their dominance, Wales finished the first 40 minutes with a superb try, the ball moved from the left across the backs until outside centre Taylor burst through the South Africa three quarters to score a try under the posts.

A Jenkins' conversion gave the Welsh an inconceivable 13 point lead as both sides made their way to the dressing room.

The South Africans began the second half in much more determined fashion, laying siege on the Wales line and threatening a try on two or three occasions until a kicking offence from Erasmus allowed the Welsh to clear their lines.

But a try for the visitors began to seem inevitable, and after brave Welsh defending had seemingly thwarted another attack, a loose pass from Rob Howley saw the ball go loose behind the Wales line and scrum-half Werner Swanepoel raced through to register five points for the South Africans.

The unconverted try came just ten minutes into the half and Wales appeared ready to buckle.

But fine defensive kicking from Jenkins and Howley kept them ahead as the match entered the final quarter.

A ruck 15 metres from the Wales line saw the men in red shirts penalised for offside and Van Straaten brought the World Champions to within a try of their opposition.

But out of the blue, Gareth Thomas went over on the right side after superb work from Scott Quinell and Jenkins.

Jenkins converted that try and added a penalty soon after to give his side a 15 point lead with just 12 minutes remaining.

More South Africa pressure saw Percy Montgomery go over on the Welsh left but the try was not converted, so the lead was still 10 points.

Despite being on the back foot for the closing minutes, the Welsh seemed destined for victory with the crowd roaring in anticipation of one of the finest moments in Welsh rugby history.

Wales: Howarth, Thomas, Taylor, Bateman, James, N Jenkins, Howley, Rogers, G Jenkins, Young, C Quinnell, Wyatt, Charvis, Sinkinson, S Quinnell. Replacements: Davies, Jones, Llewellyn, Voyle, Evans, Lewis, Humphreys.
South Africa: Montgomery, Terblanche, Muller, Mulder, Rossouw, Van Straaten, Swanepoel, Kempson, Drotske, Visagie, Boome, Otto, Krige, Erasmus, Tiechmann. Replacements: Paulse, Du Toit, Von Hoesslin, Vos, Venter, Le Roux, Marais.
Referee: E Morrison (England).




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