Autumn internationals: Wales beat South Africa 20-11 for November clean sweep

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Francis gives Wales early lead over South Africa
Autumn international: Wales v South Africa
Wales (14) 20
Tries: Francis, L Williams Cons: Anscombe 2 Pens: Biggar 2
South Africa (3) 11
Try: Kriel Pens: Pollard, Jantjes

Wales completed a first ever autumn clean sweep as they defeated South Africa 20-11 in Cardiff.

Wales led 14-3 at half-time following tries for prop Tomas Francis and full-back Liam Williams.

South Africa responded with a try from centre Jessie Kriel before Dan Biggar came off the bench to kick two late penalties.

It was a ninth successive Wales win, their longest winning streak since 1999.

But the game ended on a worrying note for the hosts as back row Ellis Jenkins, the man of the match, left the field on a stretcher.

The winning run is two short of the nation's overall record of 11 and came after wins over Australia, Scotland and Tonga.

It was also a fourth successive win over South Africa as Wales consolidated third place in the world.

Excellent Ellis

Wales were indebted to another dynamic defensive effort led by Cardiff Blues captain Jenkins.

He was named as a replacement on Thursday but started after coming in before kick-off for elbow-injury victim Dan Lydiate, and switched to number eight early in the first half after Ross Moriarty was forced off.

Jenkins set up a try, miraculously held up Kriel over the Welsh line and forced turnover penalties alongside the destructive Justin Tipuric, while inspirational captain Alun Wyn Jones was again immense his 120th Test for Wales.

As Wales absorbed the South Africa pressure, Biggar came on for the final quarter to replace Gareth Anscombe at fly-half to expertly help close out the game.

Storming start

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Williams adds second try to put Wales in control

A breathless start saw Wales respond with a patient and probing build-up, resulting in Francis' try after Jenkins dummied his way through the Springbok defence.

Moriarty was forced off after failing a head injury assessment and replaced by flanker Aaron Wainwright, a late addition himself following Lydiate's withdrawal.

This forced another back-row reshuffle with Jenkins switching to eight.

South Africa struggled to cope with Wales' offload game, which laid the platform for a slick set-piece scrum move and resulted in a 12th Test try for Liam Williams.

Anscombe had provided the smart try-scoring pass and converted from the touchline.

The stunned Springboks responded with a Handre Pollard penalty.

As dangerous as Anscombe was with ball in hand, the Blues pivot was also guilty of missing touch, while his penalty attempt hit the post.

Dynamic defence

Springboks scrum-half Embrose Papier was denied an outstanding individual try when he knocked on from his own grubber kick with the Welsh line looming.

South Africa were also denied by dynamic defensive work from Jenkins to deny Kriel as the Blues flanker managed to get his hands underneath the ball with the decision referred to TMO Simon McDowell.

Wonderful work from Jenkins and Tipuric helped keep the Springboks at bay as the hosts led 14-3 to cap an enthralling rearguard resistance.

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'Beautiful pass' sets Kriel up for South Africa try

Wales were struggling in the kicking game early in the second half with half-backs Gareth Davies and Anscombe providing South Africa with chances to counter-attack.

It put the hosts under intense pressure and a dominant South African scrum laid the foundations for the Wales defence to finally crack.

Kriel was the recipient of a precision pass from full-back Willie Le Roux to dive over in the left-hand corner.

Wales could not escape the South African shackles and Jantjies reduced the deficit 14-11 with a penalty.

The response was to throw on Biggar after 63 minutes and the Northampton fly-half immediately launched a series of kicks to put Wales on the front foot.

Biggar also kicked six points to expertly help clinch victory, one of those penalties fortunate after scrum-half Tomos Williams could have been penalised for appearing to dive on an opponent.

Wales ended the game in control, but their post-match celebrations were tempered as Jenkins was carried off on a stretcher with suspected ligament damage.

Wales: 15-L Williams, 14-North, 13-J Davies, 12-Parkes, 11-Adams, 10-Anscombe, 9-G Davies; 1-Smith, 2-Owens, 3-Francis, 4-Beard, 5-Jones (captain), 6-Jenkins, 7-Tipuric, 8-Moriarty

Replacements: 16-Dee, 17-Evans, 18-Lewis, 19-Hill, 20-Wainwright, 21-T Williams, 22-Biggar, 23-Watkin.

South Africa: 15-Le Roux, 14-Nkosi, 13-Kriel, 12-De Allende, 11-Dyantyi, 10-Pollard, 9-Papier; 1-Kitshoff, 2-Marx, 3-Malherbe, 4-Snyman, 5-Mostert, 6-Kolisi (captain), 7-PS Du Toit, 8-Vermeulen.

Replacements: 16-Mbonambi, 17-T Du Toit, 18-Koch, 19-Etzebeth, 20-Louw, 21-Van Zyl, 22-Jantjies, 23-Kolbe.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

Touch judges: Wayne Barnes (England) & Karl Dickson (England)

TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)

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