- 1 05:15 PM
- 2 Biggar’s pinpoint drop goal
- 3 05:12 PM
- 4 First half in photos
- 5 05:03 PM
- 6 HALF-TIME! South Africa 3-18 Wales
- 7 05:01 PM
- 8 39 min – South Africa 3-18 Wales
- 9 05:00 PM
- 10 YELLOW CARD BIGGAR! South Africa 3-18 Wales
- 11 04:55 PM
- 12 35 min – South Africa 3-18 Wales
- 13 04:52 PM
- 14 TRY REES-ZAMMIT! South Africa 3-18 Wales
- 15 04:49 PM
- 16 30 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
- 17 04:46 PM
- 18 28 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
- 19 04:42 PM
- 20 26 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
- 21 04:36 PM
- 22 21 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
- 23 04:34 PM
- 24 PENALTY BIGGAR! South Africa 3-11 Wales
- 25 04:32 PM
- 26 PENALTY E JANTJIES! South Africa 3-8 Wales
- 27 04:29 PM
- 28 15 min – South Africa 0-8 Wales
- 29 04:26 PM
- 30 13 min – South Africa 0-8 Wales
- 31 04:23 PM
- 32 11 min – South Africa 0-8 Wales
- 33 04:21 PM
- 34 DROP GOAL BIGGAR! South Africa 0-8 Wales
- 35 04:20 PM
- 36 8 min – South Africa 0-5 Wales
- 37 04:17 PM
- 38 5 min – South Africa 0-5 Wales
- 39 04:14 PM
- 40 TRY REES-ZAMMIT! South Africa 0-5 Wales
- 41 04:11 PM
- 42 KICK-OFF! South Africa 0-0 Wales
- 43 04:06 PM
- 44 Here come the anthems
- 45 03:56 PM
- 46 Countdown to kick-off
- 47 03:51 PM
- 48 Biggar hails Kolisi
- 49 03:45 PM
- 50 Nienaber on crowd return
- 51 03:41 PM
- 52 Wales to wear black armbands
- 53 03:31 PM
- 54 Fans return in South Africa
- 55 03:22 PM
- 56 Jacques Nienaber speaks
- 57 03:11 PM
- 58 South Africa v Wales line-ups
- 59 02:51 PM
- 60 Pivac wants to banish Italy nightmares
Biggar’s pinpoint drop goal
Before heading to the sin bin Biggar had been having a brilliant game.
He poked Wales beyond a converted try in the opening 10 minutes with this impressive drop goal, take a look:
First half in photos
What a game this has been so far! Here is what it has looked like…
HALF-TIME! South Africa 3-18 Wales
Well, that is not what we were expecting!
South Africa have not got a foot into this one yet with Jantjies missing kicks and errors seeping into their game.
Conversely, Wales have had perfect defence and ruthless attack. Hardy has been great at scrum-half and Rees-Zammit is back to his lightning best.
The Boks have a lot to do in the second 40 but Wales will start the second half without captain Biggar after his yellow.
39 min – South Africa 3-18 Wales
In what should have been a chance to score a try, Wales turn the ball over as De Klerk is unable to get the ball away from the breakdown.
Wales are shutting the hosts out at the moment, they just can’t get a foothold.
YELLOW CARD BIGGAR! South Africa 3-18 Wales
Biggar makes a crucial try saving tackle on De Klerk with the scrum-half just metres from scoring. Slick passes put the hosts in a promising position.
Kolbe knocked the ball forward but the ref was playing an advantage in South Africa’s favour. That was more of what we expect from the Boks, lethal and fast paced. All they are missing so far is a dot down over the line.
Biggar slowed the ball down at the breakdown so he sees yellow, he can’t believe it but it seems the right call.
35 min – South Africa 3-18 Wales
South Africa’s game is so scrappy whereas Wales have been clinical when they had opportunities with their defence an iron wall.
Another error from the hosts with a forward pass which led to a Welsh scrum.
If Wales saw this scoreline before half-time they would have bitten your hand off. They are proving many wrong in this game.
TRY REES-ZAMMIT! South Africa 3-18 Wales
Wow! Just wow!
South Africa looked to hit another attack but Reffell wins a penalty at the breakdown for Biggar to clear their lines.
The Welsh line-out went long but the hosts spilled the ball. Rees-Zammit kicked it through and the speed is in action again for the Gloucester man to go over.
Biggar bags the conversion. What a different storyline this is.
30 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
The Welsh defence once again forced South Africa to kick the ball, Kolbe almost got to in in the try area. Adams got a finger tip to it and Williams then deals with the threat.
South Africa look dangerous but it’s the work in the 22 that needs to be more clinical.
There’s another water break here.
28 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
Mapimpi and De Klerk edged South Africa’s attack forward with Jantjies close to the line.
There’s another fight as Wales concede a penalty with both teams piling in. There’s a boxing bell ringing in the stadium every time the shoving begins.
The referee had a talk with the two captains with a warning to the players.
South Africa have the penalty from an advantage and they kick to the corner.
26 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
South Africa had a prolonged time in attack but Wales have once again forced the hosts to kick the ball away. The question will be if the visitors can keep this physical defence up throughout the match.
Lewis goes offside to gift possession back to the hosts who kick to the corner. The kick from Jantjies goes dead though, the fly-half having a rough start to this, and so there’s a Wales scrum.
South Africa win it back as Hardy delays his put in, Kolisi pushed the scrum-half afterwards with Biggar having a few choice words for his opposition skipper. They advance the scrum ten metres as Hardy did not give the ball to the hosts, a bit tasty out there!
21 min – South Africa 3-11 Wales
This has been a physical encounter so far and Wales have done well to keep Kolbe and Mapimpi off the ball.
Wales concede a penalty through Rowlands who goes off his feet and Jantjies lines up to kick another penalty.
The fly-half missed from a very close shot, that’s the second he has missed.
PENALTY BIGGAR! South Africa 3-11 Wales
Biggar tried a kick over the South African defence but it’s charged down so they pull it back for the Welsh advantage.
It is quite a way out but the Northampton Saints fly-half has punt and slots it home.
PENALTY E JANTJIES! South Africa 3-8 Wales
South Africa have found their gear as they win successive penalties in their attack.
They were playing an advantage as De Klerk kicked away for possession, it rolled out of play and so they’ve pulled it back.
Jantjies will have another punt at the sticks and he slotted their first points of the match.
15 min – South Africa 0-8 Wales
E Jantjies smacked the post with his attempt of that penalty!
There is a water break now, considering the altitude in Pretoria I can see why they need one.
Cracking game so far with just under 52,000 fans watching on in the stadium.
13 min – South Africa 0-8 Wales
Malherbe was tackled and it looked as though Falatau and Lydiate tackled him with no arms.
The crowd didn’t like it and the officials are checked it. No-one was sent off and it ended in a scrum for South Africa, it was a strong scrum for the hosts who came away with the penalty.
The Boks opt for the sticks, can they get their first points of the match?
11 min – South Africa 0-8 Wales
This is a dream opening ten minutes for the visitors but the Springboks are building into this.
Hardy has been charged down by Etzebeth from a box kick but, luckily for Wales, the ball rolls out of play.
Wales do clear their lines but this looks as though we have a fiesty match on our hands.
DROP GOAL BIGGAR! South Africa 0-8 Wales
Wow, that has just pipped over the bar to give Wales another three points.
The fly-half is now receiving treatment for a cut on the head, he is remaining on the pitch.
8 min – South Africa 0-5 Wales
Wales won the ball in the scrum and a no arms tackle from Wiese saw Wales win another penalty.
Etzebeth managed to disrupt the ball in the line-out but Rees-Zammit has won back the ball from a high ball catch.
Biggar had a punt of a drop goal, they are checking if that has gone over!
5 min – South Africa 0-5 Wales
It has been a breath-taking start for Wales, especially for Rees-Zammit and Kieran Hardy.
The scrum-half has put in great kicks to put the Boks under pressure. It’s been scrappy from the hosts with another spillage from South Africa leading to the first scrum.
TRY REES-ZAMMIT! South Africa 0-5 Wales
Well, this isn’t what we expected!
Lood de Jager dropped the ball off a line-out and Wales stretched the ball wide. The winger steamed for the line, what a start!
That’s the 50th try Wales have scored in South Africa but Dan Biggar can’t add the extras.
KICK-OFF! South Africa 0-0 Wales
We are underway in Pretoria!
Who will come away with the win, favourites South Africa or underdogs Wales? We will soon find out.
Here come the anthems
It’s clear fans are excited to be back, it is the first time Springbok fans have watched their team at home since the 2019 World Cup, with a thunderous edition of the South African anthem.
Wales have their own supporters in house with their anthem quietly impressive but it is clear who has the advantage here.
There was a moment of silence for Phil Bennett who died in June.
Moments from getting underway now.
Countdown to kick-off
We are close to kick-off now and the players have been out on the pitch putting their warm-up in.
Will favourites South Africa sew up the win or can Wales pull off a shock result?
Biggar hails Kolisi
Wales captain Dan Biggar has spoken to Sky ahead of the Test against South Africa and praised opposite skipper Siya Kolisi.
On what kind of captain he is:
Intense but off the field very relaxed. I thought when I was younger everything had to be rugby… As I’ve got older I’ve realised there needs to be more of a balance.
I might ask him to sign my shirt! He is so inspirational and a true icon.
If Wales win it will be the first time the team have won on South African soil. On what it would mean to Biggar he added:
[It would] stick two fingers up to those who have written us off
Nienaber on crowd return
It’s going to be a tough outing for us.
It’s nice to have crowds back, it’s been almost three years since we performed in front of our home crowd. The boys will like that.
Wales to wear black armbands
Wales players will be wearing black armbands to honour legend Phil Bennett, who passed away on 12 June.
This will be Wales’ first game since Bennett died.
Fans return in South Africa
The Springboks are celebrating having fans back to support the team at home. The pandemic has prevented them from attending matches in South Africa of late.
Here are a few shots of the supporters waiting for the match to kick-off and the players arriving at the stadium.
Jacques Nienaber speaks
South Africa’s head coach Jacques Nienaber has described Wales as “desperate” ahead of their Test this afternoon.
“Wales have had a lot of preparation time before this series – they will be well-coached, well-prepared and desperate, and that makes them extremely dangerous.
“That is why they are going to be so dangerous.
“They will be a desperate Wales side, and I am saying that not because I am guessing what is going on in their camp right now, but because in 2018, we were in the same position.”
Wayne Pivac has said he has not had a good night’s sleep since their loss to Italy so maybe the Springboks boss is right…
South Africa v Wales line-ups
The hosts South Africa have named a strong starting XV with World Cup final hero Cheslin Kolbe on the wing. Ten of the World Cup squad start against Wales in Pretoria.
Jacques Nienaber has named: Willemse; Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; E Jantjies, De Klerk; Nche, Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Etzebeth, De Jager, Kolisi (captain), Mostert, Wiese.
Replacements: Marx, Kitshoff, Koch, Moerat, Louw, Smith, H Jantjies, Le Roux.
Wales, meanwhile, will see a Test debutant with Tommy Reffell starting at blindside flanker.
George North and Dan Lydiate return from injury and stalwart player Alun Wyn Jones starts from the bench.
Wayne Pivac named: Williams; Rees-Zammit, North, Tompkins, Adams; Biggar (captain), Hardy; Thomas, Elias, Lewis, Rowlands, Beard, Lydiate, Reffell, Faletau.
Replacements: Lake, Carre, Francis, AW Jones, Navidi, Williams, Anscombe, Watkin.
Pivac wants to banish Italy nightmares
Wales have travelled to South Africa to take on the world champions in the first game since their shock defeat to Italy in the 2022 Six Nations. It was the end of a disappointing Six Nations campaign for Wayne Pivac’s side which saw them finish fifth.
The head coach has said he hasn’t slept well since the tournament and aims to get some REM sleep with a victory over South Africa. “Well, I’ll probably get my first decent night’s sleep since the end of the Six Nations, and that’s a fact,” said Pivac.
“It just doesn’t go away. The thing with coaches and players is you’re not happy until you get your next win under your belt. It’s been a long time between drinks and of course there is that memory [of Italy defeat].
“If you finish on winning the Six Nations it’s a nice memory, but losing to Italy has been challenging in terms of the pressure you put on yourself, as opposed to the pressure others put on you.”
Pivac’s team now embark on a three-Test series against a formidable Springboks team. South Africa had an impressive 2021, beating New Zealand, Argentina and only narrowly losing to England last autumn. It will be a big feat for Wales to come away with a series win and the first Test will be the telling game to see where both teams are at in terms of form.
Wales have some consistency from the Six Nations with Dan Biggar once again bestowed the captaincy armband. Usual skipper Alun Wyn Jones remains in the squad but he will start from the bench in today’s Test.
Siya Kolisi remains the captain for South Africa with the likes of Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe starring for the hosts at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium.