Wales 16 South Africa 19
South Africa are through to the World Cup final for the first time since 2007 after they clinched a 19-16 win over Wales at the Yokohama Stadium.
This match won’t live long in the memory as both sides deployed a tactic of kicking the leather off the ball at every opportunity.
At halftime, the Springboks held a narrow 9-6 lead with Handre Pollard kicking three penalties and Dan Biggar kicking two.
Biggar levelled matters early on in the second half as both teams continued their kicking tactics much to the dismay of fans watching around the world.
However, the game finally went up a notch in excitement as Damian de Allende produced some excellent footwork and strength to get over for the first try of the game on 57 minutes. Pollard’s conversion gave South Africa a 16-9 lead with just over a quarter of the game remaining.
Wales hit back immediately when they went through over 20 phases close to the Springboks’ line. They couldn’t find a way through but they were awarded a penalty advantage by referee Jerome Garces. It would have been a guaranteed three points but Alun Wyn Jones opted for the scrum 5m from the Boks’ line.
That brave decision paid off as the ball was sent wide to Josh Adams who was able to go over in the corner after the Boks got their defensive setup wrong. Leigh Halfpenny took over the kicking duties from Dan Biggar who went off and he nailed the touchline conversion to level the game with less than 15 minutes remaining.
Wales continued to dominate territory but a rushed long-range drop-goal attempt from Rhys Patchell didn’t have the legs as the Springboks were able to clear.
Rassie Erasmus’ side then took the lead with four minutes remaining after Wales were penalised for infringing during a dominant Boks maul. Pollard, who was excellent from the tee throughout, notched his fourth penalty attempt to give his side a narrow three-point lead.
The Springboks dominated possession and territory for the last few minutes and they were able to see out the game to set up a clash with England in the World Cup final.