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Unbeatable Wales too classy for Springboks

Indefatigable flanker Ellis Jenkins was instrumental in helping Wales extend their winning run to nine games as they racked up a 20-11 victory over South Africa on Saturday.

Liam Williams crossed for the home side's second try on the quarter hour, taking a lofted mispass from Anscombe and cutting back inside the covering Siya Kolisi.

Indefatigable flanker Ellis Jenkins was instrumental in helping Wales extend their winning run to nine games as they racked up a 20-11 victory over South Africa on Saturday.

Tomas Francis and Liam Williams crossed for first-half tries for Wales, Gareth Anscombe knocking over two conversions.

Handre Pollard got South Africa on the scoreboard with a penalty before Jesse Kriel crossed for a try early in the second-half.

Elton Jantjies kicked the Springboks to within three points before Dan Biggar banged over two penalties to ensure the home side's longest unbeaten streak since 1999.

"The effort put into it is the habit, we're very pleased with all the wins, here are patches we have to work on but the character is the most pleasing thing," Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones told BBC.

"We can't deny there's a bit of depth developing, credit to the whole squad that have supported each other through the four Tests."

Jones' Bok counterpart Siya Kolisi added: "It was really tough, we played a lot of rugby in our half which was what they wanted. Every time we got into their half we gave away penalties, which made it really tough."

Jenkins, a late call-up to the starting XV after an elbow injury to Dan Lydiate, dominated the loose, produced a couple of vital turnovers and shored up a creaking scrum in a thrilling match at Cardiff's Principality Stadium. But his outing ended on a sour note as he was stretchered off, on oxygen, after falling awkwardly in the final play of the game.

The victory was Wales' sixth win in 35 games against the Springboks, five of those having come in six games over the last four years. It also gave Wales a first ever four-from-four autumn Tests cleansweep, having gone into the game on the back of victories over Scotland, Australia and Tonga.

Two thrilling Welsh passages showing a slick, clinical side to their play that would have delighted coach Warren Gatland went fully rewarded, Exeter prop Francis first crashing over from short range after Jenkins fooled South African hooker Malcolm Marx with a smart dummy.

Liam Williams crossed for the home side's second try on the quarter hour, taking a lofted mispass from Anscombe and cutting back inside the covering Siya Kolisi.

Kiwi-born Anscombe, charged with Welsh kicking duties in the absence of concussed fullback Leigh Halfpenny, hit the two conversions.

When Adam Beard was pinged for offside, Kolisi opted against going for touch deep in Welsh territory, Pollard instead booting three points to get South Africa ticking over on the scoreboard as the frenetic pace of the opening quarter waned.

When Bok scrum-half Embrose Papier shot clear from a messy line-out and grubbered past George North, it looked like he could have been in for a try, but a disorienting, stray arm from the Welsh winger and the covering Liam Williams doing enough to force a knock-on.

South Africa piled the pressure on as half-time beckoned before Jenkins produced arguably the tackle of the match, managing to hold up the ball in Kriel's arms over the line.

Pollard spurned a simple shot at goal as Wales went offside, Kolisi instead opting for an attacking scrum, but the ubiquitous Jenkins turned over Eben Etzebeth to leave it 14-3 at half-time.

The visitors dominated possession early in the second period, again going for an attacking line-out rather than turn to the normally trusty boot of Pollard.

With the Welsh scrum also under enormous pressure, it was a tactic that finally paid off for the Boks, Willie Le Roux producing a brilliant flick pass for Kriel to cross for a deserved try in the corner.

Pollard was off target with the conversion, replacement Elton Jantjies stepping up to kick a 62nd minute penalty that saw the South Africans, with Toulouse winger Cheslin Kolbe a threat every time he got the ball, up to within three points of Wales.

But a crucial Jantjies knock-on gifted Wales attacking advantage and when Aphiwe Dyantyi held on in the tackle, Biggar kept his nerve to boot a penalty to take the score to 17-11.

Jonathan Davies then broke clear and should have done better in drawing the last line of defence, Pieter-Steph du Toit producing a try-saving tackle on prop Rob Evans.

Ivan van Zyl went offside at the resulting ruck, Biggar booting his second penalty, before Jenkins fell in agony and was taken off by stretcher. - AFP

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