The time has come for the Springboks to defend their title. South Africa takes on Wales in their first match of the Rugby World Cup. M&G reporter, Nickolaus Bauer will be live blogging the match.
The Bokke have put together one of their most experienced line-ups to take on Wales in Wellington. A total of 813 caps for the side that will be led by John Smit
It’s national anthem time.
Everyone in Boktown rises to their feet and clutches their chests
The time has arrived… Kick-off!
Wales kick off and its straight into a rolling maul for the bokke.
Scrum within Walesh territory after a Morne Steyn clearance.
Its go time now, the boks collect from the scrum and attack the Welsh 22.
Welsh defence holds strong until Frans Steyn breaks through to score their first try of the Rugby World Cup! AND BOKTOWN GOES WILD!
Frans Steyn’s new shaved head compliments that razor sharp move into the corner.
Morne Steyn slots the conversion to make it 7-0 to the Srpingboks after 4 minutes.
Wales on the attack after the kickoff. They have a scrum inside the Springbok 22.
Frans Steyn collects from Du Preez clearance to the halfway line.
Wales on the attack again. 3rd phase, 4th phase and crunch tackle from Jacque Fourie.
Pierre Spies enters the ruck incorrectly and it’s a Welsh penalty at the egde of the Springboks 22.
Wales score the penalty and it’s 7-3 after 10 minutes.
Shoddy Springbok line-out within Welsh territory. Wales collect go on attack and fourie Deu Preez fumbles the ball forward in a tackle.
Another Welsh scrum on the edge of the Bok 22.
Wales earn a penalty after a high tackle from JP Pietersen.
Hook misses the kick and the Bokke earn a reprieve. They need to watch themselves now, losing concentration after a good start.
Wales collect the lineout – counter attack. Boks turnover the ball surge towards the Welsh 22. Wales caught offside. Morne Steyn to try and slot a penalty from 40m.
Steyn swings the ball between the posts and it’s 10-3 to the Springboks after 20 minutes.
Frans Steyn punts the ball out of the Springboks 22 after a Welsh onslaught into Springbok territory. Welsh line-out in the Springbok half.
Butch James has replaced Jean De Villiers. Looks like a serious injury, DeVilliers limping off the field and shaking his head.
Welsh line-out inside the Springboks 22. DEFENCE!
Heinrich Brussow crunches into the ensuing ruck and earns South Africa a turnover. Springboks collect and Steyn kicks the ball back towards Welsh territory.
Welsh scrum on their own 22 collapses three times. Bizarrely the ref awards a penalty to the Welsh. Hook launches the ball into Springbok territory.
Schalk Burger gets a tongue lashing from the ref for not rolling away from the ruck. Wales penalty on the edge of the Springboks 22.
Hook slots the penalty. 10-6 to the Springboks with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Butch James gets penalised for one of his trademark shoulder infused tackles. Wales take the penalty quickly and attack the Springbok 22.
Habana collects from a Hook kick into the 22, passes to Frans Steyn who clears. The Springboks rush up field.
Scrum on the 22 sees a Springbok rush towards the Welsh tryline. Rolling maul into a ruck – 15m out now.
Morne Steyn attmpts a drop goal… NO LUCK. Welsh allow the ball to roll out and kick out their 22.
Welsh scrum on the Bok advantage line. Balls comes free, Welsh push forward in a rolling maul, into a ruck. Wales drop goal attempt flies wide. ref blows for half time. 10-6 to the Bokke.
Second half gets underway… Hopefully Peter De Villiers has fired up the troops for a bruising 40 minutes of rugby.
Victor Matfield goes down in a ruck and gingerly arises. Doctors rush to assist… he goes off.
Johann Muller comes on for Matfield.
Back to the action… Welsh line-out on the Bok tryline.
Boks defence working overtime… Wales 5m out.
Springboks ruled offside. Wales Penalty in front of the posts.
Hook kicks and easy penalty. 10-9 to the Boks after 50 mins.
A sustained attack by the Welsh earns them a well deserved try… Or is it? ref goes upstairs.
Try is awarded with Faletau the scorer, Hook converts and the score is 16-10 to the Welsh with 25 mins to go.
Gurthro Steenkamp comes on for Beast Mtawarira.
Welsh lineout outside the Boks 22. Ensuing attack gets thwarted as the Welsh knock on.
Boks scrum 5m from their own tryline. Ball comes loose and Morne Steyn clears. The Springboks need to dig deep here… 22 mins to prove why they are world champions.
John Smit leaves the field and his replaced by Bismarck Du Plessis… captaincy taken by Schalk Burger. Johann Muller also goes off, Willem Alberts in his place.
Wales happy to just hold the ball and enter ruck after ruck. Springboks need possession!
Bryan Habana departs the field and Francois Hougaard comes on to play left wing.
Springboks collect the ball from the halfway line and begin pushing forward to the Welsh 22.
Hougaard fires a slick grubber kick into the Welsh 22. Hook manages a foot onto the ball into touch. Bok lineout 7m out.
Quick take at the lineout and the Boks push through 4 phases before Morne Steyn loses the ball backwards. Ref calls back for a minor infringement at the lineout – Springbok scrum.
Concerted pressure by the Bokke. Hougaard collects from the ruck and CRASHES OVER THE LINE BETWEEN THE POSTS! GO BOKKE!
Morne Steyn slots the conversion and the Springboks are back in the lead. 17-16 with 15 mins to go.
Bokke straight back under pressure. Welsh ruck goes pear shaped and they are awarded a scrum inside the Springbok 22.
Boks scramble defence. Wales now 5m out.
Priestland fluffs a drop goal in front of the posts. A brief reprieve for the Springboks.
Frans Steyn boots deep into Welsh territory but can’t find touch.
Priestland boots into touch within the Bok 22. Confusion ensues between Du Preez and Hougaard with both passing to each other close to the tryline. Hougaard runs forward, ruck ensues and penalty for the Welsh for handling in the ruck by the Boks.
Hook lets the Springboks off the hook (hehe) as he fluffs the penalty. Still 17-16 to the Bokke with 8 mins to go.
The ball flies from 22 to 22 as both sides attempt to kick for territory.
Steyn finally finds touch. Lineout within the Welsh 22.
Springboks win the lineout. Its now or never as they 5m from the Welsh tryline.
Bismarck Du Plessis powers through the Welsh defence. Goes down for another ruck. 3m to go!
Boks lose the ball forward!
Welsh scrum 8m from their own tryline.
A ruck ensues, Brussow steals the ball and Bismarck du Plessiss grabs the ball and punts it into touch.
The ref blows for fulltime.
It wasn’t pretty but the Springboks win their first game of the rugby world cup by 17-16 in Wellington.