Boks win tantalisingly close encounter

Springbok back rower Schalk Burger (7) and scrum half captain Fourie Du Preez (9) celebrate the win over Wales in the 2015 RWC quarter-finals at Twickenham Stadium. - Image by © Michael Lee - Taiwan Mike/KLC fotos/Corbis

Nkululeko Zilibokwe, North Eastern Tribune

A brilliantly worked move in the dying minutes of the game, between Duane Vermuelen and captain Fourie Du Preez was the defining moment, as the Springboks set up an enticing semi-final against New Zealand.

The Springboks struggled in the first half to get their attacking game going as the Welsh Dragons dominated possession. Wales went into the break leading by 18-19 courtesy of a late drop goal by Dan Biggar.

A much-improved second stanza performance by the Springboks saw them dominate the Welsh territory and pile the pressure on a defiant Wales defence.

Vermuelen, the current South African Rugby Player of the Year, proved once again why he is one of the best in the world, as he dominated the Welsh team at the breakdowns.

Wales Captain Sam Warburton said despite his team missing many of their key players they leave the World Cup showpiece with absolutely no regrets as they gave their best.

WATCH: How the Proteas reacted when the Boks score that last minute try.

Veteran Number 6 Schalk Burger was awarded the Man of the Match award as he put in yet another great performance. Burger played 80 minutes, and had 11 carries over the gain line, covered 55 metres and made ten tackles.

Heyneke Meyer’s men now turn their focus to their semi-final clash against the All Black and will be aiming to become the first ever team to lose their opening game and go on to lift the trophy.

Meyer will be sweating over injuries sustained by hooker Bismarck du Plessis who has a lacerated hand, and lock Lood de Jager who suffered a foot tendon injury against Wales.

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