S Africa Women 3-35 Wales Women
|South Africa 3 (3)|
|Pen: Zandile Nojoko|
|Wales 35 (16)|
|Tries: Sioned Harries (3), Jenny Davies. Cons: Robyn Wilkins (3), Pens: Wilkins (2) Drop-goal: Elinor Snowsill|
A Sioned Harries hat-trick inspired Wales to a big win over South Africa that means they avoid finishing bottom of their Women's Rugby World Cup pool.
Harries scored the first of her three tries in a physical first half which saw Wales lead 16-3 at the break.
The number eight claimed her second and third either side of a touchdown from replacement prop Jenny Davies.
Wales will play four-time champions New Zealand in a match between the fifth and eighth seeds on 13 August.
The winner of that match will progress to the fifth and sixth place play-off to be played at Stade Jean Bouin on Sunday, August 17.
Defending champions New Zealand cannot reach the last four following England's draw with Canada.
With both sides having lost their previous two matches against Australia and hosts France, Wales' game against South Africa was firstly a battle to avoid ending the first round as Pool C's worst side.
Wales had already suffered that fate at the last World Cup in 2010, losing 15-10 to South Africa in their group before avenging that defeat with a 29-17 victory over the Springboks in the ninth and 10th place play-off.
History suggested these would be two evenly matched sides, and they traded blows in a tight opening quarter as Robyn Wilkins and Zandile Nojoko struck a penalty for each team.
|Women's Rugby World Cup - Pool C|
Wales began to dominate possession and territory as the first half wore on, and gradually they edged themselves in front thanks to another Wilkins penalty and a drop-goal from Elinor Snowsill.
Welsh pressure intensified as half-time loomed, and it eventually told as a turnover on the South African line allowed Wales number eight Harries to plunge over for the game's first try.
With Wilkins' conversion Wales led 16-3 at the break, but they were forced to defend for a long, energy-sapping spell after the restart.
The Springboks' failure to convert their chances proved costly, as Wales marched back up to their opponents' line to claim a second try courtesy of replacement prop Davies.
With a 23-3 advantage and victory seemingly assured, Wales continued to attack and they were rewarded as Harries picked the ball up from the base of a scrum and crashed over for her second try.
And Wales claimed a bonus point when they swept the ball wide and Harries squeezed over in spite of the attentions of two tacklers to spark wild celebrations and set up a play-off match with New Zealand.
Wales Women: Laurie Harries (Llandaff North), Adi Taviner (Neath Athletic), Robyn Wilkins (Llandaff North), Rebecca de Filippo (Bristol Ladies), Dyddgu Hywel (Bristol Ladies), Elinor Snowsill (Bristol Ladies), Sian Moore (Bristol Ladies); Sioned Harries (Llandaff North), Rachel Taylor (Bristol Ladies - captain), Catrina Nicholas (Llandaff North), Shona Powell-Hughes (Neath Athletic), Jenny Hawkins (Llandaff North), Catrin Edwards (Bristol Ladies), Carys Phillips (Bristol Ladies), Meg York (Blaenau Gwent)
Replacements: Lowri Harries (Neath Athletic), Jenny Davies (Waterloo), Cerys Hale (Pontyclun Falcons), Sian Williams (Worcester), Amy Day (Llandaff North), Elli Norkett (Neath Athletic), Rafiuke Taylor (Pontyclun Falcons)
South Africa: Cindy Cant; Siviwe Basweni, Zenay Jordaan (capt), Lorinda Brown, Phumeza Gadu; Zandile Nojoko, Fundiswa Plaatjie; Nwabisa Ngxatu, Denita Wentzel, Cebisa Kula, Celeste Adonis, Nolusindiso Booi, Rachelle Geldenhuys, Lamla Momoti, Andrea Mentoor.
Replacements: Thantaswa Macingwana, Portia Jonga, Vuyolwethu Vazi, Shona-Leah Weston, Tayla Kinsey, Veroeshka Grain, Sinazo Nobele