Written by on June 24, 2024

Written by: Bafokeng Mothebe

The Springboks began their test season with a great start, following their win of the Qatar Airways Cup against Wales in Twickenham on Saturday afternoon. This was South Africa’s first game since winning their 4th Rugby World Cup championship in October in France.

South Africa played the Welsh, to a comfortable 41-13 victory in the first match of the season.

Early into the game, South African Centre Jesse Kriel, started the try scoring within four minutes of the match, while Wales were reduced to 13 men shortly thereafter, as Rio Dyer and Aaron Wainwright were respectively sent to the sin-bin.

It was a one point game going into the half time break, with South Africa in the lead by 14-13 over Wales.

The highlight of the second half saw Sacha Feinberg Mngomezulu, another South African debutant, slot an incredible kick through the sticks, from inside his own half, as he registered his first points as a Springbok. As the kick went through the poles, the television cameras showed his coach Dr Rassie Erasmus and his coaching, share laugh and enjoy the moment, of a debutant showing impressive kicking range.

Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, debutant Edwill Van der Merwe and Bongi Mbonambi crossed the whitewash, while a penalty try added to South Africa’s 5 try party, compared to Wales’ singular try, which was courtesy of captain Dewi Lake. The game ended with a final score line of 41-13 in favour of the World Cup champions.

28 year old Edwill Van der Merwe was named the Man of the Match. “Edwill looked very comfortable, confident, and I guess because his aged at 28, he maybe slotted in easier than the other guys, so I think he deserves everything coming his way currently” said South African coach Rassie Erasmus in the post-match press conference.

Nthuthuko Mchunu, Evan Roos and Aphelele Fassi made their way back into the 23 man team, since before the Springboks made their way to the World Cup in France, in September of last year.

South Africa will next play Ireland, as they host a two test match series on the 6th and 13th of July, while Wales play Australia in a two match series on the 6th and 13th of July as well.


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