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Boks end their drought in Cardiff

The Springboks have recorded their first win against Wales in their home town since 2013, breaking an 8 year drought in the Welsh city. On a rainy day the Springboks managed to secure a late 23 - 18 victory as they got their maul moving in the final quarter to pile on the pressure on a depleted Welsh pack. The likes of Alun Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau were severely missed, whilst the Boks pack dominated the physical aspect for most of the fixture.

It was a slow start to the game with Dan Biggar and Handre Pollard trading off penalties. The sides went into the break with Wales ahead 12 - 9 after a yellow card to OX Nche had the Springboks under pressure. Damian Willemse was an early casualty in the fixture, going of in the 15th minute injured, this lead to the booming boot of Frans Steyn joining the fixture early and he slotted a 54m penalty to level things up, a sharp reminder of his quality.

The first half saw very few scrum opportunities, a base the Boks tender to prefer as an attacking platform, and the mauls were proving to be a problem. The lineout was functioning well but the Welsh forwards were managing to collapse far too many mauls, taking out the legs after they had been set. Referee Paul Williams must have had a talking to at half time, because things improved drastically in the second 40, with Marx steam rolling over for a try from the back.

The Welsh will also feel hard done by as a fan broke out onto the field right as they were threatening the Bok try line and as he was smoked by a security guard, he disrupted the attack and a visibly angered Liam Williams said it all. The try would not have been though as the sides were called back for an earlier infringement and ultimately the Welsh failed to breach the Boks powerful defense.

I thought Kwagga Smith, Cobus Reinach, Lukhanyo Am and Frans Steyn had massive performances in this fixture and really drove the Bok cause forward the whole game. Steyn was ultimately named man of the match, and deservedly so. At the age of 35 he is invaluable to the Green & Gold and seeing him celebrate victories with such joy is fantastic. He ran into everything and everyone, he managed to step a young Welsh winger and to top it off, slotted one over from his own half.

Jessie Kriel was unfortunately an experiment that didn't yield results. He struggled under the high ball and Dan Biggar picked up on this early, sending a number of bombs his way. Defensively Kriel was also lacking and although he go looking for work, he did not get the job done. I would be surprised to see him selected on the wing again. Elton Jantjies also failed to fire as he did against the All Blacks, but the heavy rainfall would have been a factor here.

The Springboks face Scotland next weekend and there will likely be some changes to the side, with Aphelele Fassi being prime candidate for a role in the starting XV. Cobus Reinach is also surely due a start as he outshone team mate Herschel Jantjies when he came on late in the game. His pace will prove crucial against a talented Scotland backline, run by the enigmatic Finn Russell.

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