Liveupdated1656786671

South Africa v Wales LIVE rugby: Result and reaction as Damian Willemse kicks Springboks to last-gasp win

Follow reaction from the first Test of Wales’ summer tour as the Springboks break Welsh hearts

Full back Damian Willemse kicked a pressure penalty after the hooter to secure South Africa rugby a 32-29 victory over ill-disciplined Wales rugby in a see-saw test at a raucous Loftus Versfeld.

Louis Rees-Zammit crossed twice in the first half to put Wales in control and Dewi Lake also crossed to seemingly snatch a draw late on for the tourists, who came agonisingly close to their first-ever victory on South African soil.

They ran the world champions so close but paid the price for their cynical play in their own 22 as they lost four players to yellow cards and conceded a penalty try.

The Springboks might have won by a greater margin but for their own lacklustre play as their tactical kicking was abysmal and decision-making in key phases of play unusually poor. Hookers Bongi Mbonambi and Malcolm Marx, and wing Cheslin Kolbe, crossed for tries for the home side. The second of three tests will be played in Bloemfontein next Saturday with Wales still in search of a first win in South Africa after 11 attempts.

Follow all the reaction below with our live blog:

1656784520

Late heartbreak for Wales despite spirited showing in first South Africa Test

Damian Willemse broke Welsh hearts with the final kick of a pulsating Test match as world champions South Africa triumphed 32-29 at Loftus Versfeld.

Willemse’s penalty – awarded following a deliberate knock-on by Wales captain Dan Biggar – denied Wales a draw.

And for large parts of a breath-taking contest, Wayne Pivac’s team looked destined to end 58 years of hurt by claiming a first victory over the Springboks in South Africa.

1656783419

South Africa take a 1-0 series lead

You do wonder, though, if that was Wales’ best shot of the series. South Africa were rusty for long periods today, and will surely settle into their work quicker next week, and it will be tough for Wayne Pivac’s side to reproduce that sort of perfomance in Bloemfontein next Saturday.

1656782999

Wayne Pivac on Wales’ defeat

“It was a huge effort, but when you are down to 12 men against the world champions here it is very, very difficult. Discipline - we were on the wrong side of the referee today and we need to go away and take a look at the penalties we conceded.

“The effort was there, it was more around under pressure we did make a few mistakes. I would have even taken a draw at the end.

“It was a big step up from our last performance. I’m disappointed for the players because they worked so hard this week. It is one that got away. World champions in their back yard. We’ll roll our sleeves up tomorrow and go again next week.”

1656782582

F/T: South Africa 32-29 Wales

A devastating defeat for Wales. They had done brilliantly to stay with South Africa, first stalling the Springboks’ fightback and then striking late to draw back level through Dewi Lake. But should Tomos Williams have kicked the ball back to South Africa with 30 seconds left? It offered a chance to win it, which Damian Willemse took.

1656782357

F/T: South Africa 32-29 Wales

Dan Lydiate speaks to Sky Sports on Welsh heartbreak: “I’m pretty gutted to be honest. there were a lot of momentum shifts in that game, but we thought we had nicked it.

“Very disappointed after the Six Nations, we wanted to put a good performance in and restore some fight back into the jersey. But we came here to win. We’ll dust ourselves off and go again next week.

“It’s just a massive privilege to put the jersey on again, so hopefully I’ll get another chance to put it on.”

1656782086

FULL TIME! SOUTH AFRICA 32-29 WALES

1656781961

PENALTY! SOUTH AFRICA 32-29 Wales (Damian Willemse penalty, 83 minutes)

With the final kick, Damian Willemse snatches victory for South Africa!

1656781916

South Africa 29-29 Wales, 81 minutes

A deliberate knock on! Penalty to South Africa!

Makazole Mapimpi is screaming for the ball on the left wing for several phases. South Africa finally try the get the ball to him, but Wales condense the space well, and seem to have it handled...

Until Dan Biggar extends his right arm in the path of a pass and is rightly ruled to have deliberately knocked it on. Damian Willemse will have the chance to win it from 15-in on the left-hand side...

1656781822

South Africa 29-29 Wales, 80 minutes

Wales would quite fancy a draw at this stage, but dare not dally in their own half, kicking the ball back to South Africa.

Who run it back with interest. Cheslin Kolbe and Lukhanyo Am make merry progress down the right as the hooter blares.

1656781767

South Africa 29-29 Wales, 79 minutes

Alun Wyn Jones is back amongst things. Wales have 13 players on the field.

Surely that means space for South Africa? Possession is with the Springboks on halfway, the backs seeking those openings...ooh, is that the right choice from Damian de Allende? With time ticking by, he pokes a little grubber into touch.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in