SA and Wales battle it out for a spot in the RWC final

The Springboks go into Sunday’s match with the hopes of the nation heavy on their shoulders as they fight to secure a spot in the RWC final.

Springbok wing S'Busiso Nkosi (C) is tackled by Wales' flanker Justin Tipuric and Wales' fly-half Dan Biggar (R). Picture: EWN

JOHANNESURG – The much-anticipated clash between South Africa and Wales for a spot in the final is underway at the International Stadium in Yokohama in Japan on Sunday.

At half-time the Boks led by 3 points after Dan Biggar reduced and earlier 6-point lead when he scored a penalty in the 39th minute, setting the score at 9-6.

The Springboks go into Sunday’s match with the hopes of the nation heavy on their shoulders, a reality cemented by a video call from President Cyril Ramaphosa to captain, Siya Kolisi.

On Saturday, the Springboks took a moment to turn their eyes from Japan to back home; knowing what a place in a third Rugby World Cup final would mean to their country.

“I have seen what winning a World Cup does for our country,” said Kolisi.

“I am old enough to remember the 2007 World Cup [he was 16] and I remember what it did for the country then and I know what it will do for the country now”.

It is not expected to be an easy game as both sides have lost fine running backs, South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe and Welsh fullback Liam Williams to injury.

On Saturday England booked their spot in the finals after a surprise win over New Zealand.

Coach Steve Hansen insisted there was "no shame" in losing to the English side after their stunning 19-7 World Cup semifinal defeat.

"No loss is easy to take," Hansen said.

"The boys are desperately hurting. You put a lot of time and effort and energy into trying to win the thing," he added.

It remains to be seen which of the two teams dueling on Sunday will face off with the All Blacks next weekend to end Hansen’s seven-year reign as head coach.

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Additional reporting by AFP and Michael Pedro