• Super Sacha makes a Springboks statement

    Super Sacha makes a Springboks statement

    Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu was asked to kicked a 52 metre penalty with his first Springboks moment. He did it. Rassie Erasmus roared his approval, writes Mark Keohane. He passed the test.

    The Boks were leading 24-13 against an average Welsh team. Logic, in the context of any match, said kick to the corner and go for the try. The call from the Bok coaches was to kick a penalty. Feinberg-Mngomezulu nailed it.

    A few minutes later, the Boks got a penalty from 30 metres out. Feinberg-Mngomezulu could have knocked it over with his eyes closed, but here he was asked to kick to the corner. The Boks won the line out, mauled and they scored and Feinberg-Mngomezulu nailed the conversion. Within five minutes he had made a Bok statement. He is there to stay.

    Jordan Hendrikse started at No 10 for the Boks. He missed his first penalty kick, but nailed several conversions. He was good without being spectacular. Feinberg-Mngomezulu somehow just seemed to have a bigger presence.


    The Boks won 41-13, comfortable and with ease. Wales will struggle in Australia against the Wallabies. They are currently under the international radar.

    There were some big individual Bok performances. Feinberg-Mngomezulu in his 20-plus minutes. Winger Edwill van der Merwe scored on debut, Damian de Allende, in the final 30, just showcased his class at No 12. Hooker Bongi Mbonambi was big when he replaced Malcolm Marx, who got through 50 minutes and there were debuts for four players.

    The World Cup winners, led by Eben Etzebeth, played like world champions knowing they never had to move out of second gear. And Etzebeth, on this occasion, was more in neutral than overdrive.

    The Boks were never going to lose. It was only a question of whether they would win by 20, 30 or 40. They finished somewhere in between.

    Wales were brave, but they were just not good enough. They were never going to be.

    The Boks scored a seven pointer within three minutes to lead and it settled the nerves for those players representing a team playing in the first game since the 2023 World Cup final win against the All Blacks.

    For all the highs and lows and Wales pulling it back to a one point deficit at half time, there was only ever going to be one winner.

    The Boks scored within two minutes of the restart and from then on it was only a matter of running down the clock.

    The biggest positive was Marx got through 50 minutes of rugby and Feinberg-Mngomezulu showed his class.

    It also showed that the Boks, be it at loose-forward or wing, produce world-class players.

    It was an important match for Erasmus to get a big contact session hit out in the guise of an international.

    Now for the big stuff in the form of Ireland in July.


    Photo by Steve Haag Sports/Gallo Images

    Article written by

    Keo has written about South African and international rugby professionally for the last 25 years