Wales have recorded nine consecutive wins for the first time this century after two early tries helped them overcome South Africa 20-11 at the Principality Stadium.
Tomas Francis and Liam Williams crossed in the opening 15 minutes to give Wales the ascendancy and a 14-3 half-time lead in Cardiff.
South Africa fought back in the second period, with Jesse Kriel going over for their only try, but Dan Biggar’s two late penalties ensured the Welsh held on for their fourth straight home success over the Springboks.
Since losing to Ireland back in February, Warren Gatland’s men have been victorious in each of their last nine contests, a sequence the nation had not managed since winning 10 in a row in 1999.
It’s an unbeaten autumn for Wales for the first time ever. Diweddglo bythgofiadwy i hydref llwyddiannus.
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 24, 2018
The Springboks were forced into a pre-match change as Cheslin Kolbe replaced Sbu Nkosi on the wing.
The number 23 made a lively start too, dancing to the edge of the Welsh 22 with some nifty footwork before South Africa switched their attack to the left, where Pieter-Steph du Toit just stepped into touch prior to going in.
It was Wales who would put the first points on the board, though, Ellis Jenkins bamboozling Malcolm Marx with a dummy and offloading to Francis to score his first international try.
Six minutes later the Welsh were in again as the presence of George North sucked in the South African backs after a scrum to leave space for full-back Williams to dot down.
A long-range Handre Pollard penalty reduced the deficit, but he was off target with another three-point attempt, as was Gareth Anscombe with an effort that came back off a post.
Wales’ advantage remained 11 points at the break, with Jenkins holding up Kriel over the line – a decision confirmed by the TMO – before South Africa’s call to take the scrum five metres from the Welsh line failed to pay dividends.
However, sustained South African pressure at the start of the second period did pay off when Willie le Roux’s terrific pass allowed Kriel to cross for a try that Pollard failed to add the extras to.
The Springboks continued to look the better side after the interval and with 18 minutes to go they were only three points behind when Elton Jantjies slotted over a kick.
Yet Gatland’s team were awarded a crucial penalty when Justin Tipuric won a turnover inside South Africa’s 22, with replacement Biggar keeping his cool to stretch Wales’ lead to six.
That soon became nine, their eventual margin of victory, as Biggar made it two from two after South Africa were caught offside following a big Jonathan Davies break.
The only negative for the Welsh was the sight of man-of-the-match Jenkins coming off on a stretcher after the final whistle.
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