South Africa crush Wales in one-sided first Test at Kings Park
Last Updated: 14/06/14 8:51pm
Wales are still waiting for their first Test win in South Africa after a crushing 38-16 defeat by the Springboks at Kings Park in Durban.
South Africa ran in three converted tries in the first quarter and five in all, while Wales scored just the one, a long-range consolation effort from Alex Cuthbert in the closing minutes.
Full-back Willie le Roux had a hand in four of South Africa's five tries, his electric display lighting up a contest that was otherwise strewn with set-piece and handling errors.
Le Roux scored one excellent individual try and created two others for wing Bryan Habana. Cornal Hendricks and number eight Duane Vermeulen also crossed the line for the hosts.
Dan Biggar landed two drop-goals and a penalty for Wales, while replacement fly-half James Hook converted Cuthbert's late try.
Biggar kicked the tourists ahead with a third-minute drop-goal and they managed to move the ball wide to danger wings Cuthbert and George North in the opening exchanges.
At the other end of the field, Wales managed to repel the first raid from the Springboks, but there was no stopping Habana, when he raced on to a chip ahead by outstanding full-back Le Roux, to notch his score.
Morne Steyn added the conversion from close to the touchline to open a faultless display with the boot, kicking six from six in a 13-point haul.
Welsh woes continued when Jamie Roberts was sent to the sin-bin after 13 minutes for taking out Le Roux in the air with a clumsy tackle after a Biggar up and under from a penalty.
While the Racing Metro 92 centre was off the field the Boks added two more tries as they extended their lead to 21-6. Number eight Vermulen crashed over from close range in the 16th minute after a dynamic line-out peel five metres out.
Steyn added the extras and did the same when Habana responded immediately to Biggar's second drop goal of the game midway through the first half. The magnificent Le Roux spotted a mismatch in midfield against Aaron Shingler to create the overlap for his wing who raced over for his 55th Test touchdown.
That man Le Roux turned from provider to scorer just before the break as he chipped over the Welsh defensive line before re-gathering and riding North's tackle to reach the line. Steyn added a fourth conversion.
Biggar ensured he had the first and last word of the half as he kicked a penalty to cut the gap to 19 points at the break after Bismarck du Plessis had been penalised.
That was cancelled out early in the second half by Steyn before man of the match Le Roux set up the Springbok's fifth try on 52 minutes.
JP Peterson went close before Le Roux switched direction, exploiting the lack of Welsh jerseys and new cap Hendricks stepped inside North to touch down on his Test debut.
Trailing 38-6, Warren Gatland threw on his replacements who at least stemmed the tide.
Ian Evans spilled an attacking lineout five metres from the line but replacement scrum-half Davies showed his potential, turning poor ball into attack.
Davies darted through before off-loading to Biggar only for the return pass to be judged forward.
Wales looked to have wasted their best chance before Cuthbert set off from his own 22-yard line, battling through three defenders before out-pacing three more, including Habana, for a stunning try that James Hook converted.
A resilient try-line stand prevented a further score at the final whistle.