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South Africa and New Zealand in thrilling battle… now for Wales!

Wales last did battle with South Africa in the semi-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup

South Africa and New Zealand in thrilling battle… now for Wales!

World champions South Africa and New Zealand engaged in a Test battle of the ages to conclude their Rugby Championship campaign.

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Now both teams have turned their attentions to facing Wayne Pivac’s Wales because their next games will be at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.

Wales open up their autumn campaign against the All Blacks on October 30 in what is already a sold-out encounter before facing the Springboks the following weekend.

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Further clashes with Fiji and finally Australia will follow in what is set to be an enthralling autumn series in the Welsh capital.

If the rugby in Cardiff is anything like the game South Africa and New Zealand served up on Saturday then Welsh supporters will be in for a real treat.

Wales will do battle with the might of the southern hemisphere this autumn

To buy tickets for Wales’ autumn Tests, click here.

New Zealand had beaten the Springboks by just two points the previous weekend thanks to the boot of nerveless full-back Jordie Barrett and it looked like history would repeat itself again.

In a thrilling finale to a game taking place on Australia’s Gold Coast, the game edged back and forth and it looked like Barrett had won it with another superb penalty.

Indeed, the lead changed four times in the last five minutes before replacement South Africa back Elton Jantjies kicked a simple penalty after the clock had passed the 80-minute mark.

It was enough for a 31-29 Springbok victory in a game which entertained from first minute to last.

Sevu Reece, captain Ardie Savea and scrum-half Brad Weber had all scored first-half tries for New Zealand. Damian de Allende and Makazole Mapimpi were South Africa’s scorers.

Both team’s next matches will come in Cardiff.

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster had already seen his team claim the Rugby Championship title despite going down to a rare defeat.

“The South Africans threw everything at us and probably played their best game in many ways,” Foster said.

“It turned into one of those traditional games we’ve had over the last three or four years and a lot of them seem to go down to the last few minutes.

“To lose any game at the end when you’ve got control of it is frustrating but it was a massive arm wrestle really. I thought the South Africans played superbly.

The South Africans threw everything at us and probably played their best game in many ways

“They came with a lot of attitude. They carried hard, they moved us around, and really challenged us in many ways, particularly in that third quarter.

“I thought they had a really strong third quarter and got us a bit flustered but I just like the way we hung in there and we found a way.

“We did some nice things. We took some great opportunities early in the game, scored some nice tries, and got ourselves into a winning position.

“But then we lacked a little bit of discipline in that last two minutes.”

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac

South Africa carried hard, they moved us around, and really challenged us in many ways, particularly in that third quarter

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber said: “I have to give credit to this squad. With all the white noise out there, they never doubted and they never lost belief.

“The players never strayed from what they wanted to do.

“We kept going through our processes and going through our reviews and making new plans. When you play against quality teams the margins are so small.

“We were 20 seconds away from winning the Test against Australia and two or three minutes away from beating New Zealand last week. This week I think we got the last call of the game.

“The margins are so small – it’s the bounce of the ball here or a misread there.”

To buy tickets for Wales’ autumn Tests, click here.

In the other Rugby Championship game, Australia served notice of the threat they will pose to Wales on November 20 by recording their fourth successive win of the competition.

A hat-trick from Andrew Kellaway helped Dave Rennie’s beat Argentina 32-17.

Looking ahead to his team’s tour of the northern hemisphere and the meeting with Wales, Australia captain Michael Hooper said: “It’s a great opportunity for us. A lot of our guys haven’t been up north.

“We’ve got a World Cup in France in two years so if we have the opportunity to go up there and play in front of full stadiums, it’s going to be great for our growth.

“It will be great to play a couple of different teams and European teams at that. We’re pretty keen to get up there.

“Playing some different teams that are going to pose some different problems is good for us.”

Ticket details for Wales’ autumn fixtures:

Wales v New Zealand, Principality Stadium – Saturday 30th October SOLD-OUT

Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium – Saturday 6th November CAT A £75 (£37.50) / CAT B £65 (£32.50) / CAT C £45 (£22.50)

Wales v Fiji, Principality Stadium – Sunday 14th November CAT A £35 (£17.50) / CAT B £25 (£12.50) / CAT C £20 (£10)

Wales v Australia, Principality Stadium – Saturday 20th November CAT A £75 (£37.50) / CAT B £65 (£32.50) / CAT C £45 (£22.50)

For the first time, concession tickets are available in ALL categories for ALL matches across the series (shown in brackets).

To buy tickets, click here.

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