Wales 13-41 South Africa: Springboks eventually secure Test victory over Warren Gatland’s side at Twickenham

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South Africa picked up victory in their first Test match since October’s Rugby World Cup final, beating Wales 41-13 at Twickenham in the first weekend of the summer internationals.

The Springboks were on top for a large part of the first half, scoring early through a Jesse Kriel try and then a penalty try as Wales were reduced to 13 players with wing Rio Dyer (cynical offside) and No 8 Aaron Wainwright (maul collapse) sin-binned.

Wales dug in to keep the score at 14-3, however, and once Springbok full-back Aphelele Fassi was shown yellow for a high boot after claiming an aerial ball – an incident which was reviewed for a potential red card – Wales skipper Dewi Lake replied with a try.

Fly-half Sam Costelow kicked a further two penalties either side of that score to get Wales within a point, but a controversial try early into the second half through Makazole Mapimpi – the TMO failing to intervene despite a clear Kriel forward pass – put the Boks back in control.

Hooker Bongi Mbonami and wing Edwill van der Merwe then added further tries inside the final 11 minutes, after a period of some Welsh pressure which went without tries.

South Africa wing Edwill van der Merwe scored a try on his Test debut with five minutes to play

Jordan Hendrikse missed an early penalty chance for South Africa but the Springboks went ahead after just four minutes when they shredded Wales’ defence through a sweeping attack.

Mapimpi broke clear after collecting Fassi’s pass, and supporting centre Kriel was afforded a simple finish, before Hendrikse converted for a 7-0 lead.

Centre Jesse Kriel scored an early try for South Africa against Wales at Twickenham

Costelow opened Wales’ account through a seventh-minute penalty but they were soon on the back-foot again following Springboks No 8 Evan Roos’ midfield surge, with wing Dyer being yellow-carded for a technical infringement.

South Africa then attacked from a close-range lineout and referee Chris Busby awarded them a penalty try after Wales forward Wainwright illegally pulled down a maul. Wainwright was sin-binned and South Africa had an 11-point advantage.

Referee Chris Busby awarded a penalty try and yellow card after Wales collapsed an SA maul, reducing Warren Gatland's side to 13 players

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Wales should have scored early in the second quarter after Liam Williams intercepted Hendrikse’s pass, but scrum-half Ellis Bevan couldn’t gather the ball from centre Mason Grady and a glorious chance went astray.

Wales did not have to wait much longer, though, to cut the deficit after Fassi was yellow-carded when his boot caught flanker Taine Plumtree high on the shoulder.

South Africa full-back Aphelele Fassi was perhaps fortunte to avoid a red card for catching Taine Plumtree high with his boot

South Africa could not clear danger from a lineout inside their own 22 and Lake pounced for a score that Costelow converted, making it 14-10.

It was an impressive recovery by Wales and their fightback continued six minutes before half-time when another Costelow penalty meant that South Africa led by just a point.

Wales lost prop Keiron Assiratti with an injury on the stroke of half-time – he was replaced by Harri O’Connor – yet his team had defied pre-match odds at the halfway point.

South Africa struck within two minutes of the second half starting as they simply out-flanked Wales’ defence and Mapimpi had a straightforward run-in – after collecting Kriel’s forward delivery – with Hendrikse converting from the touchline.

Makazole Mapimpi (right) saw his try at the beginning of the second half controversially awarded

Hendrikse kicked a long-range penalty to extend South Africa’s advantage, then his replacement Feinberg-Mngomezulu bisected Wales’ posts from inside his own half, and Wales trailed by 14 points.

The quality of South Africa’s replacements’ bench began to take its toll, and Wales were powerless to prevent Mbonambi crashing over from close range as the Springboks moved past 30 points, with Van der Merwe breaking clear five minutes from time.

Bongi Mbonambi came on to score one of two late Springbok tries

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