6 Jun 2010

South Africa repel late challenge to defeat Wales

8:09 am on 6 June 2010

South Africa have edged Wales 34-31 in their opening rugby international of the season in Cardiff.

Wales, who took the field with high hopes of recording only a second win over the Springboks in 104 years and also face New Zealand this month, opted to kick a penalty into touch in the final minutes rather than take the three points which would have given them the draw.

They won the lineout but South Africa, who rested several first choice players involved in last weekend's Super 14 final between the Bulls and the Stormers, cleared the ball upfield.

Fielding an under-strength side at the Millennium Stadium, the Springboks trailed 16-14 at half-time after being down 16-3 lead through an intercept try and drop goal to centre James Hook.