A South Africa penalty goal by Handré Pollard was the difference in the 19-16 win over Wales in the Rugby World Cup 2019 semifinal at International Stadium Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City on Sunday, 27 October. South Africa held a 9-6 lead at the break.
South Africa will play for the Cup on Saturday 2 November in a rematch of the 2007 Final against England. Wales will play New Zealand on 1 November for the Bronze.
South Africa struck first with a penalty goal by Handré Pollard after Wales was penalized for not rolling away at the breakdown. Wales answered right back with a Dan Biggar kick to level the match at 3 all.
The Springboks had Wales on the back foot on a Springbok scrum and Handré Pollard punished the Welsh with a penalty goal for a 6-3 lead.
An infringement by the Welsh forwards at the breakdown led to another Handré Pollard penalty goal to lead 9-3. A Dan Diggar penalty goal in the final minute cut the lead to 9-6.
Both teams used an aerial game for territory and to relieve pressure. Wales had 21 total kicks to 19 for South Africa and Wales controlled 55% of the territory.
Wales lost two key players to injury in the half with tighthead prop Tomas Francis and right-wing George North exiting with wrist and hamstring injuries, respectively.
Following a mark by Leigh Halfpenny, he cleared with the ball muffed by Faf de Klerk. A Springbok infraction followed and Dan Diggar leveled the match at 9 all with his boot.
The first try of the match occurred in the 56th minute with South Africa powering through multiple phases and Damian de Allende finishing with a try. Pollard slotted the extras for a 16-9 lead.
Following a penalty for not releasing, Wales Patchell kicked to touch for a lineout instead of going for points. After 20 picks by the forwards, a penalty advantage resulted in a 5-meter scrum to Wales. The ball went wide left to Josh Adams for his sixth RWC try in the left corner. Leigh Halfpenny boot leveled the match at 16 all in the 66th minute.
A penalty from Francois Louw for not coming through the gate had Wales attacking inside Springboks territory. Wales went through 11 phases before a Rhys Patchell drop goal was short and wide right.
Wales counterattacked following the ensuing clearance kick with 7 minutes remaining. A penalty allowed the Springboks to clear and to attack. Playing a penalty advantage, Pollard’s drop goal was missed. He then slotted a penalty goal to give the Springboks a 19-16 lead with 4 minutes left.
A chip by de Klerk gave Wales a lineout inside their 22-meters with 2 minutes remaining, but a knock-on resulted in a Springbok scrum. South Africa drove forward and Wales was penalized. This allowed Pollard to kick to touch for a Springboks win.
With the 19-16 win, the Springboks will face England in the Cup Final on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 Rugby World Cup Final. Wales will meet New Zealand on Friday for the Bronze.
South Africa flyhalf Handré Pollard was named Player of the Match.
Wales: 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Ross Moriarty, 9 Gareth Davies, 10 Dan Biggar, 11 Josh Adams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 13 Jonathan Davies 14 George North, 15 Leigh Halfpenny 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhys Carré, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Adam Beard, 20 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Rhys Patchell, 23 Owen Watkin
South Africa: 1. Tendai Mtawarira 2. Bongi Mbonambi 3. Frans Malherbe 4. Eben Etzebeth 5. Lood de Jager 6. Siya Kolisi (capt) 7. Pieter-Steph du Toit 8. Duane Vermeulen 9. Faf de Klerk 10. Handré Pollard 11. Makazole Mapimpi 12. Damian de Allende 13. Lukhanyo Am 14. Sbu Nkosi 15. Willie le Roux 16. Malcolm Marx 17. Steven Kitshoff 18. Vincent Koch 19. RG Snyman 20. Franco Mostert 21. Francois Louw 22. Herschel Jantjies 23. Frans Steyn
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Assistants Referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)