Wales historic victory over Boxing: four topics for discussion



The Welsh may not have thought the choice of springboks for the second test at Bloemfontein was prim and proper for the occasion, but in the end they needed 78th-a minute try and a brilliant transfer by Gareth Anscombe on the sideline in victory 13-12 and celebrate their first victory in South Africa.

Here are four theses from the game:

Has Jacques Ninaber’s adventure paid off?

No. And this does not mean that a few players took the chance to make a big statement. Of the 19 new players selected, eighth man Evan Roos was likely the standout with a tense first half with a few strong carries, while winger Kurt-Lee Arendse looked menacing offensively.

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At least now Nienaber will have more clarity about the selection and he will know that the vast majority of the team that played in the first Test in Pretoria will be his first choice players going forward.

The decider in Cape Town next weekend will surely see the Springboks field their right team.

Lots of slip between cup and lip

There were times when the Springboks would cook all the ingredients to turn their territorial dominance into points, but a few times it was like the fork goes to the mouth, but the food falls off.

South Africa simply couldn’t turn several brilliant attacking chances into one try, all 12 points coming from four penalties by Handre Pollard, but the captain also conceded two penalties that proved to be decisive in the long run.

Welsh steel defenses have to be given credit, but the Springboks need to polish the finishing touches.

Mixed states for new caps

While starting debutants Roos and Ahrendse performed well, the four new players coming off the bench did not make much of an impact. Loosehead mainstay Ntutuko Mchunu earned a penalty in his first scrum with a powerful push but then conceded a scrum penalty which gave Wales the territory to start their attempt to win the match.

Rouen Nortier and Deon Fury failed to translate shifting momentum into the last quarter and reserve scrimmage halfback Grant Williams came on as Pollard left the field with a leg injury. Springboks will hope it was just a cramp or there will be new problems on flyhalf after Elton Junjis’ off-color display in the first test.

Loan to Wales

The tourists defended with great zeal and dominated the dogfight, which was enough for them to win the fierce battle.

At first, it looked like Wales would struggle in the scrimmages and lineouts, but Wayne Pivak’s side fought back to level the playing field at these crucial standards.

They were also tenacious on the break and winger Tommy Reffell was named Man of the Match in his second Test.