Alun Wyn Jones Rugby World Cup: South Africa eke out 19-16 win over Wales to reach final

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Alun Wyn Jones
South Africa eked out a 19-16 victory over Wales. (REUTERS) 

It was attritional, it was error-strewn, it was mostly an ugly kick-fest. It was pretty much exactly what was forecast. The Springboks won’t care: They’re into the Rugby World Cup final again.

In a semifinal match that will not be fondly remembered, South Africa eked out a 19-16 victory over Wales to set up a title match against England in Yokohama. It’s a rematch of the 2007 final won by the Springboks in Paris for their second and most recent world title.

Just like 12 years ago, they’ll be relying on their physicality, set-piece strength and structured game to get them through. It was just enough against Wales.

A day after a supreme display by England in an upset win over the All Blacks, this was a grafting contest that was ultimately settled by a 76th-minute penalty by South Africa flyhalf Handre Pollard. He didn’t miss any of his five kicks at goal _ four penalties and a conversion after Damian de Allende’s 57th-minute try.

The Welsh, seeking to reach a first final, recovered from a sloppy start that left them 9-6 down a

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