South Africa book Rugby World Cup final spot with 19-16 victory over Wales

  • Alex Batt
Wales v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019: Semi-Final

South Africa will meet England in the Rugby World Cup final after they defeated Wales 19-16 in a tightly fought affair.

The first half went by with not much action, but in the second half, quality started to show from both sides.

However, it was the Springboks that got the job done and got over the line.

South Africa defeated hosts Japan to book their spot in the semi-final, a convincing 26-3 victory doing the job, whilst Wales beat France in an epic encounter that ended 20-19 to the Welsh.

Prior to the knockout stages, South Africa had a record of three wins and one defeat in the group stages, losing to New Zealand in their tournament opener. As for Wales, they won all of their group stage matches, including an impressive victory over Australia.

After a cagey and nervy opening 10 minutes, it was South Africa who scored the first points of the match as an Handre Pollard penalty gave them a 3-0 lead. However, that lead lasted a mere few minutes as Dan Biggar responded with a penalty kick of his own.

As the clock struck 20, Pollard added to his earlier three points with another penalty, giving South Africa a 6-3 lead.

Wales v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019: Semi-Final

In a game with not many chances in terms of try scoring opportunities, it was the boot of Pollard that continued ticking over the scoreboard for the Springboks; the 25-year-old extending their lead to 9-3 five minutes before half-time.

However, it was a case of whatever Pollard can do, Biggar can do also as he cut the difference to three right on the stroke of half-time with a penalty kick of his own.

The two sides entered the break with the score at 9-6 to South Africa.

Unsurprisingly, it was more kicking that got the scoring in the second half underway as Biggar tied the score up at 9-9 after 45 minutes.

Wales v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019: Semi-Final

Eventually, the first try of the game came. Damian de Allende the man crossing the line for South Africa just before the hour mark.

Keeping up his impressive kicking record, Pollard added the extra points, giving the Springboks a 16-9 lead.

But once again, Wales didn't go down without a fight, and just 10 minutes later they were level once again after a superb try from Josh Adams.

Five minutes left on the clock, Pollard did what he does best yet again, kicking over a further three points for his side, giving them a 19-16 lead going into the final stages.

And that is how it stayed. South Africa saw out the remaining few minutes and will now take on England in the final next Saturday.

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