Damian Willemse late penalty keeps Springboks at No 1 in world rankings

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An extra-time penalty by Damian Willemse ensured the Springboks remained at No 1 in the World Rugby rankings for at least another week.

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The Springboks overcame a 15-point half-time deficit to beat Wales in the first of three Tests at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday.

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After trailing 18-3 at the break, the Springboks relied on four second half tries to win 32-29.

Wales had four yellow cards in the match

Wales, who were reduced to 12 men at one stage and finished with 13 players, lost thanks to a penalty after the hooter had sounded by Willemse.

The win maintained the Springboks’ unbeaten Test streak against the Welsh in South Africa.

Had Willemse missed, the All Blacks would’ve reclaimed the top spot in the rankings.

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But he didn’t, and the Springboks stayed on 90.61 ranking points, 0.89 ahead of New Zealand who beat Ireland 42-19 earlier in the day.

The Irish stayed in fourth place despite their heavy defeat at Eden Park in Auckland.

France slipped to third place, even though they beat Japan 42-23 away from home.

England slipped to sixth after their narrow 30-28 loss to Australia who moved up to fifth place.

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SCORERS:

South Africa

Tries: Bongi Mbonambi, Malcolm Marx, Cheslin Kolbe, penalty try

Conversions: Damian Willemse (2)

Penalties: Elton Jantjies, Willemse

Wales

Tries: Louis Rees-Zammit (2), Dewi Lake

Conversion: Dan Biggar

Penalties: Biggar (3)

Drop goal: Biggar

TEAMS:

South Africa

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Elrigh Louw, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Willie le Roux

Wales

15 Liam Williams, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar (captain), 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Gareth Thomas 

Substitutes: 16 Dewi Lake, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Owen Watkin

Springbok fan during the match between South Africa and Wales at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on 2 July 2022 Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

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