Wales 16 South Africa 33

Habana flies in to dash Wales' dream Wales 16 South Africa 33

A record 41-3 home defeat to the All Blacks and a lucky 11-10 victory against Fiji was followed by a 17-point reverse against a Springbok side whose performance was described by their coach, Jake White, as "not very good." Much of the damage was self-inflicted, as Ruddock was quick to concede. "I've seen a lot of spirit from my side," the Wales coach said. "But we're making too many errors."

The flying Bryan Habana punished two of those errors with tries on the overlap on the left. He forced another on the opposite wing with a grubber kick that yielded a score for Conrad Jantjes. There was no faulting the Welsh spirit but their cover defence at vital moments was barely existent.

There was the consolation of a late score for Ceri Sweeney but, with five of their Lions still licking wounds, there was only a trickle of the free-flowing play that swept Ruddock's men to the Grand Slam last spring. The biggest wound the Springboks suffered was of their own making, Percy Montgomery marking his return to South Wales with two yellow cards that added up to an early bath.

The former Newport-Gwent Dragon hardly had the best of nights all round, missing four of his seven kicks at the posts. He landed his first penalty in the second minute, but pulled his next effort wide after Habana was shoulder charged into touch by Shane Williams after chasing his own chip for the line on the left. It was the Welsh defence that was pulled apart in the 13th minute, though, as the Springboks worked the ball from wide on the left to wide on the right and back again, advancing from their own half to the Welsh 22, before Habana steamed in unopposed to maintain his try- per-game ratio on his 14th Springbok appearance.

It was a small mercy for Wales that Percival Colin Montgomery was not on par with his left boot. The full-back's hooked conversion kept the lead down to 8-0 before Stephen Jones landed his first pot at the posts on his 50th international game. Montgomery then fleetingly regained his touch and Jones replied with another successful penalty before Wales finally made some attacking ground.

Shane Williams almost made it into the opposition 22 but was bundled off the ball by Jaque Fourie. Within seconds the Springboks were in the opposite corner of the field, Martyn Williams performing a superb one-man cavalry act, holding up C J van der Linde on the line to save a seemingly inevitable try.

Nevertheless, Wales continued to struggle to contain the powerful, pacy South African as half-time approached. A forward pass by Jean de Villiers ruled out a score from a crash-ball take by Fourie, while another wayward Montgomery penalty kept the Springbok lead down to 11-6 at the break. It stretched to 15-6 in the 44th minute, though, Habana flying up the left flank to score on the overlap again.

Montgomery missed once more with the boot and was then missing from the pitch for 10 minutes, sin-binned for following through on a slam-dunk tackle on Shane Williams with a dig on the floor at the flyweight Welsh wing. Chris Horsman followed Montgomery into the pitch-side cooler, courtesy of a punch aimed at Van der Linde. The decisive blow, though, came on the hour, Jantjes pouncing on a Habana grubber kick that Sonny Parker failed to trap in the in-goal area.

Meyer Bosman, impressive on his debut at outside-half for the Springboks, converted from close to the touchline and then Montgomery returned to add a penalty to the ticking South African tally. The Dragons old boy was not back for very long, though - a second yellow for a borderline high tackle on Shane Williams swiftly turning to a red.

The Welsh try was a fine one, Sweeney cutting a superb angle to take a delightful inside pass from Shane Williams. The final flourish, though, came from South Africa, Schalk Burger feeding Danie Rossouw for a close-range score in the final minute.

Wales: L Byrne (Llanelli Scarlets); D James (Llanelli Scarlets), G Thomas (Toulouse, capt), S Parker (Ospreys), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Clermont Auvergne), G Cooper (Newport-Gwent Dragons); D Jones (Ospreys), R Thomas (Cardiff Blues), C Horsman (Worcester), I Gough (Newport-Gwent Dragons), R Sidoli (Cardiff Blues), C Charvis (Newcastle), M Williams (Cardiff Blues), M Owen (Newport-Gwent Dragons). Replacements: A Jones (Ospreys) for Horsman 8-14, for Charvis, 60; C Sweeney (Newport-Gwent Dragons) for G Thomas, 48; M Watkins (Llanelli Scarlets) for Parker, 61; M Davies (Gloucester) for R Thomas, 65; M Phillips (Cardiff Blues) for Cooper, 72.

South Africa: P Montgomery (Natal); C Jantjes (Lions), J Fourie (Lions), J de Villiers (W Province), B Habana (Blue Bulls); M Bosman (Cheetahs), M Claassens (Cheetahs); L Sephaka (Lions), J Smit (Natal, capt), C J van der Linde (Cheetahs), B Botha (Blue Bulls), V Matfield (Blue Bulls), S Burger (W Province), J Smith (Cheetahs), J Cronje (Blue Bulls). Replacements: O du Randt (Cats) for Sephaka, 36; D Rossouw (Bulls) for Botha, 70; D W Barry (Stormers) for de Villiers, 74; B Russell (Sharks) for Jantjes, 74.

Referee: S Dickinson (Australia).

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Life and Style
i100

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week