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Page last updated at 12:45 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 13:45 UK

South Africa v Wales as it happened

Result: South Africa 43-17 Wales


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By Phil Harlow

1550: "Beware - the Boks will be better next week!"
Boksrtops on 606

80 mins: The final whistle goes, and Wales have been well beaten. The new-look South Africa side hit the ground running, but Wales did not do themselves too many favours with the number of turnovers they conceded.

78 mins: Wales are just hanging on now, doing their utmost to ensure South Africa do not make 50 points. They are going to end the game on the defensive as the Springboks kick to the corner from a penalty.

While Bryan Habana was trying to score a try, Richard Hibbard and CJ van der Linde were trying to knock seven bells out of each other on the touchline.

Neither lands a genuine knock-out blow, but they are sent to the sin-bin for their troubles. As both are front-row forwards, it looks like we're going to have uncontested scrums for the rest of the game.

75 mins: After consulting with the video official, referee Dave Pearson rules out a possible Bryan Habana score, deciding the winger had been held up.

73 mins: There are some seriously tired legs out there for Wales in defence, with the penalties against them really killing their chances of keeping the scoreline down.

1538: "I would not want to be in dressing room after this game. Gatland is going to give the players a thoroughly deserved roasting after this display!"
MontrealWelsh on 606

70 mins: TRY & CONVERSION South Africa 43-17 Wales
Shane Williams' try is only a brief respite for Wales as replacement Percy Montgomery crosses for South Africa.

As the Springboks continue to keep the ball alive at every opportunity, Montgomery goes through Alun Wyn Jones' tackle and goes around Morgan Stoddard to score.

Butch James adds the conversion and then leaves the field, with a 100% kicking record intact, to be replaced by Peter Grant.

66 mins: TRY & CONVERSION South Africa 36-17 Wales
Every time Wales get the ball to Shane Williams, good things happen for them.

A simple backs move off first-phase scrum possession opens South Africa up, with a nice final pass from Morgan Stoddard putting Williams into space.

Williams races up the touchline and then executes a perfect step to leave the covering Bryan Habana on his backside and score under the posts. Stephen Jones adds the conversion.

65 mins: Wales get another decent attacking opportunity, but replacement hooker Richard Hibbard overthrows and clears the entire pack to allow South Africa to launch a counter.

63 mins: The position comes to nothing for Wales as an optimistic James Hook chip ahead goes too far and is cleared up in goal by Ruan Pienaar.

62 mins: Replacement fly-half James Hook kicks long to the corner from a rare Wales penalty and just gets it right by the narrowest of margins. A decent attacking platform for the visitors.

60 mins: Yet another turnover for Wales as some streetwise work from Danie Rossouw snaps up the ball for South Africa. Wales have only themselves to blame though, as they fail to get enough players to the breakdown and Rossouw takes full advantage.

57 mins: South Africa look all too comfortable as they aim to build their already commanding lead. Wales just cannot get their hands on the ball.

54 mins: TRY & CONVERSION South Africa 36-10 Wales
Magical score from South Africa as they turn on the style to all but seal the match through Pierre Spies' score.

Luke Watson powers through the middle off the back of a ruck and offloads to the supporting Bolla Conradie. The scrum-half dances past replacement Morgan Stoddard and then slips the ball to Spies who has all the pace he needs to cross the line.

Butch James maintains his 100% kicking record with the conversion.

51 mins: Wales seem to be second best in the physical battle at the breakdown. Another ball is turned over as Mark Jones is slammed into the ground, and a clever kick into space from Butch James finds touch about three inches to the right side of the corner flag. It's all going the Springboks' way.

48 mins: TRY & CONVERSION South Africa 29-10 Wales
The number of turnovers are really starting to hurt Wales, and this time South Africa really make it count.

The ball is quickly moved into space where Jean de Villiers runs a straight line and finds the enticing prospect of two front rowers struggling to get across to make the tackle.

Matthew Rees makes a game effort as he tap-tackles his man, but De Villiers is not held and the centre regains his feet to dive over. Butch James kicks his seventh kick from seven attempts.

46 mins: Jean de Villiers slips a great offload to his fellow Springbok centre Adrian Jacobs to burst onto.

Jacobs makes some good yards before scissoring with prop Gurthro Steenkamp as Jamie Roberts makes another good tackle under pressure.

The hit by Roberts actually ends up flooring Steenkamp as well, with the prop tripping over his own man and knocking on. A let-off for Wales.

44 mins: Top-class play from Juan Smith as he takes the tackle, stays on his feet and slides out a pop-pass to Pieere Spies to race onto.

Spies shows real pace to fly onto the ball and then embarks on an arcing run which requires a splendid tackle from Jamie Roberts to prevent the try.

43 mins: For a split-second it looks like Shane Williams has defied the laws of physics to escape down the touchline, but even his magic feet can't quite operate in such a confined space.

41 mins: The match is back under way, and like the first half there's a bit of a kicking duel to ease us into proceedings.

1455: "We always play better in the second half. Let's not worry too much yet. Gatland has a good way of bringing out the best in the team for the last half of the match."
lawtiniarno on 606

1450: "So far South Africa don't appear to be missing Du Preez, Matfield and Montgomery at all."
Chewy000 on 606

40 mins: PEN South Africa 22-10 Wales
Not what Wales would have wanted as they gift South Africa three points back straight away.

Ryan Jones takes a high ball and seems to have time to spare. But the skipper prevaricates and finds himself dumped by a tenacious Conrad Jantjes tackle, and he goes on to concede the penalty for holding on to let Butch James kick yet another goal.

The half-time whistle goes, and Wales coach Warren Gatland has got plenty to think about in the break.

37 mins: TRY & CONVERSION South Africa 19-10 Wales
A lesson for Wales: get Shane Williams on the ball as much as possible. The brilliant winger, who has hardly touched the ball so far, takes a quick tap penalty on halfway to spark a great move.

The ball is recycled and goes left where Williams gets involved again before Sonny Parker goes through two tackles and releases Jamie Roberts to score in the corner.

Stephen Jones curls in a tremendous conversion, and the game is back on.

33 mins: Stephen Jones makes a superb break straight down the middle as he gets quick ball off the top of a line-out. The move gradually loses momentum though, and it ends with flanker Dafydd Jones knocking on in contact.

30 mins: TRY & CONVERSION South Africa 19-3 Wales
South Africa win the line-out against the throw through the massive Andries Bekker.

The ball goes through the hands of the backline, and a lovely sleight of hands from centre Adrian Jacobs switches the direction and full-back Conrad Jantjes cuts the angle perfectly to score under the posts.

Butch James kicks the unmissable conversion. Wales need to find something special here, or they could be looking at a heavy defeat.

28 mins: Clever kick from Springbok scrum-half Bolla Conradie bounces out of Shane Williams' path and into touch for South Africa to end Wales' stay in their half.

25 mins: That's more like it from Wales, as they finally go through a few phases in the manner we saw so often in the Six Nations. There are some big hits coming on from South Africa though, with Sonny Parker smashed in a double tackle by Juan Smith and Luke Watson.

The ball eventually goes forward as Gareth Cooper delays his pass too long.

23 mins: PEN South Africa 12-3 Wales
Another penalty against Wales, this time for not letting the player go after the tackle is made. It's right in front of the posts and Butch James takes the easy chance.

20 mins: Good play from Ryan Jones as he snaffles a loose line-out ball and makes some good old-fashioned hard yards through the middle.

The ball is spread out to the backs, where an offload from Tom Shanklin finds Stephen Jones on the loop. But the attack ends as Wales concede yet another penalty with Adam Jones going off his feet.

17 mins: South Africa 9-3 Wales
Wales are giving away penalties for fun at the moment. Ryan Jones takes the ball into contact, but quickly finds himself outnumbered as Jean de Villiers slices him down.

Ian Gough goes in offside as he attempts to salvage the situation and moments later Butch James slots another kick.

14 mins: PEN South Africa 6-3 Wales
Wales get a second penalty in quick succession as they stray offside in midfield, and this time it's in kickable range.

Stephen Jones makes no mistake with his kick and Wales get on the scoreboard.

13 mins: Wales win a penalty as South Africa collapse a scrum, and Stephen Jones finds a good touch deep in Springbok territory.

11 mins: Too many mistakes from Wales so far, as knock ons and misplaced passes undermine their bid to get a foothold in a game they have yet to really start playing in.

8 mins: PEN South Africa 6-0 Wales
Bad mistake from Jamie Roberts at full-back as he knocks on a slightly overhit up-and-under from Butch James.

Adrian Jacobs was coming in on the charge, but Roberts takes his eye off the ball and spills the ball forward. One of his team-mates plays the ball to concede a penalty, and James slots the simple kick.

6 mins: PEN South Africa 3-0 Wales
The first points of the match go to the home team as Butch James smacks over a fairly long-range effort after a Wales offence at the breakdown.

4 mins: South Africa's big forwards take a confrontational route in the early stages, with muscular carries from Juan Smith and John Smit forcing Wales on the back foot.

1 min: We're off at Vodacom Park. There's a bit of gentle rugby tennis to get us under way as both sides use the boot to try to gain an early territorial advantage, and it's just about advantage Wales after a decent Jamie Roberts touch finder.

1404: "To say I am excited about this much-anticipated encounter, doesn't even come close to the lack of sleep I have had over the last few weeks thinking about this game. Looking forward to a cracker of a game and excellent BBC text coverage..."
Rugby_Will on 606

I think we can be assured of the first of your wishes, Will. As for the second...

1402: Blimey, the size of new South Africa lock Andries Bekka. He is not small, to be fair. The tallest ever Springbok, by all accounts. "A big unit" is the technical term, I believe.

1401: We've had the two anthems, with South Africa enjoying the added boost of a long-haired aging boy-band member belting it out on the microphone. Nice voice though.

1358: Springboks skipper John Smit comes out of the tunnel with his team-mates packed in behind him. It's fair to say he looks up for this too.

1356: Ryan Jones, the racing favourite to lead the Lions in South Africa next year, leads his men out onto the pitch with a slow walk to the halfway line. Focussed doesn't even begin to do justice to the look on his face.

He leads his men into a huddle and starts laying down the law in no uncertain terms.

1350: It's an absolutely gorgeous day in Bloemfontein. Not a cloud to be seen, and the bluest of blue skies. But the beautiful conditions will still pack a punch, with the ground high up on the veldt. The altitude could well be a major factor.

1347: One factor worth bearing in mind for this Test is the laws it will be played under. This year's Super 14 tournament in the summer hemisphere, featuring almost the entire Springbok team, has been used as a testing ground for the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs).

But this match will be refereed by an English referee under the "old" laws which Wales have been playing under all season. Will the Springboks be able to adjust back quickly enough?

1345: A quick reminder of the teams on show at Vodacom Park this afternoon:

South Africa: Jantjes, Chavhanga, Jacobs, de Villiers, Habana, James, Conradie, Steenkamp, Smit, Mujati, Botha, Bekker, Watson, Smith, Spies.
Replacements: van der Linde, B du Plessis, Matfield, Rossouw, Pienaar, Grant, Montgomery.

Wales: Roberts, M Jones, Shanklin, Parker, S. Williams, S Jones, Cooper, Jenkins, Rees, A Jones, Gough, A W Jones, J Thomas, D Jones, R Jones.
Replacements: D Jones, Hibbard, Evans, Delve, Fury, Hook, Stoddart.

Referee: David Pearson (RFU)

1341: Afternoon all, we're 20 minutes away from a mouth-watering encounter between the champions of Europe and the champions of the world.

Some commentators are giving Wales their best chance in years of adding to their sole win against the Springboks.

South Africa, under new coach Pete de Villiers, have a much-changed line-up from the side which ran out in last year's World Cup final against England.

But Wales have also been forced into some changes, with the likes of Gavin Henson and Mike Phillips ruled out through injury.

see also
New Zealand 21-11 Ireland
07 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Wallace in for injured Fitzgerald
05 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Reddan sets bar high for Ireland
04 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks welcome 'bubbly' Keane
04 Jun 08 |  Sunderland

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