South Africa heads to RWC final after tight win over Wales

Wednesday, 30 Oct, 2019

"There are probably nine or 10 players who won't be involved in another World Cup as well, so they have got to relish that opportunity and be excited about this".

The fresher, powerful Springboks are arguably the favourites against Wales, as they look to cap a turnaround under coach Rassie Erasmus by winning their third world title.

Things got worse for Wales before the end of the half as both Tomas Franicis and George North were forced off through injury.

There'll be no first all-northern hemisphere final and no ideal send-off for coach Warren Gatland, who is departing after 12 successful years in charge.

"No loss is easy to take", Hansen said.

It was a tough slog from the outset for both teams with plenty of kicking as field position was the name of the game with the goalkickers working overtime.

Whether his teams win, lose or draw, Warren Gatland always speaks from the heart.

The South Africans will return to Yokohama next weekend to bid for a third World Cup win against an England side.

ITV are showing full highlights of every Rugby World Cup fixture on the evening of each day of action.

"It was nerve-wracking out there", said Erasmus, after the Pollard penalty with only four minutes on the clock sent the two-time champions through. There was a big turnover from a breakdown.

Before kick-off, much had been made of the sheer physical threat posed by South Africa's forwards but de Klerk, not for the first time this tournament, demonstrated that even modern rugby union can still be a game for all shapes and sizes. "I'm very proud of the team as well, you guys have done extremely well". "A bounce of the ball and it might have been different".

The Six Nations Grand Slam winners were never in front, but were never far behind, either, despite a mounting injury toll.

Pollard comfortably stepped up to nail the winning kick, sending South Africa into the finale, and Wales to a meeting with the All Blacks in the dreaded bronze medal match.

Where is Wales v South Africa? Pollard converted for 16-9 but back came Wales.

Early in the second half, former Wallaby Rod Kafer added that "the game is there to be taken, whoever wants to actually run with the ball and get past two or three phases".

Leigh Halfpenny calmly slotted the conversion from three meters in from touch to level at 16-16.

"I thought we'd get a chance". "To be fair, those games against South Africa in the last five or six years have all been tight, close encounters that could have gone either way".

Erasmus was then in a director of rugby role, but assumed the head coach duties for the journey to Japan and since then they defeated the All Blacks in New Zealand and won the 2019 Rugby Championship.

England and South Africa are 2-2 in the last 18 months, Erasmus pointed out, "so we are accustomed to the way they play".