Springboks edge Wales to book place in World Cup final
YOKOHAMA, Japan, Oct. 27 -- It was an attritional semifinal that went right to the wire as South Africa edged out Wales to join England in the final of the Rugby World Cup. The score stood at 19-16 to South Africa after a brutal 80 minutes of intense rugby that took a physical toll on many of the players. The game was scrappy throughout with several handling errors from both sides. In the first half, neither side found themselves penetrating the other's 22, as unforced errors in the midfield mounted. After 20 minutes, the score stood at 3-3 after an exchange of penalties from both Dan Biggar and Handre Pollard. In the next 15 minutes, South Africa was able to add a further two penalties to their tally through the accurate boot at Pollard to take the score up to 9-3. However, just before the break, Wales added a second penalty to their score to narrow the match up to 9-6 at half time. As the teams entered the changing room at the break with neither side looking like real contenders following the high-class encounter between New Zealand and England yesterday. Six minutes after the break, Wales pulled level with the Springboks after Biggar struck another accurate kick through the uprights. On the 57th-minute, South Africa finally broke through to score after a number missed Welsh tackles on center Damien de Allende who wriggled through to touch down and take the score to 16-9 after a Pollard conversion. However, eight minutes later, Wales broke the South African defense as Josh Adams touched down in the corner to get the try. An accurate conversion from Leigh Halfpenny a minute later and once again the scores were level at 16 all. With the sides heading to a draw and extra time, Wales gave away a penalty inside their half. With the game three minutes from full time, Handre Pollard, once again slotted another penalty to take the score to 19-16 and give South Africa the win. South Africa will face England in the final in Yokohama on Saturday next week in a repeat of the 2007 final. England produced one of their greatest performances yesterday to defeat favorites and defending champions New Zealand.