'What a beast': Ref's reaction to intense World Cup clash stuns fans

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

The Rugby World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Wales may have not been a classic due to the dour tactical battle, but a David vs Goliath moment has fans raving over Faf de Klerk.

De Klerk may have been the smallest man on the field but it didn’t stop the scrum-half squaring up against the monstrous Wales No.8 Jake Ball.

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Fans couldn’t believe the image of de Klerk smiling as Ball towered over the South African as he grabbed his collar.

But to add to the grandeur, fans spotted referee Wayne Barnes looking on in horror as the two squared off after play.

Wayne Barnes reacting as Jake Ball and Faf de Klerk square-off. (Getty Images)

Many were quick to praise the bravery of de Klerk and noted the expression on Barnes’ face.

Fans slam semi-final shocker

Wales and South Africa were panned by viewers after a dour first half in Sunday night's Rugby World Cup semi-final that saw the Springboks book a date with England in the final after a 19-16 victory.

Coming a day after England's breathtaking win against the All Blacks, the hype of the second semi-final was simply not matched by the standard of play.

Many fans predicted an arm wrestle between two sides with strong kicking games, but few could have tipped how devoid of attacking rugby the first half would be.

Both sides opted for conservative approaches, prioritising territorial kicking over running rugby, with a couple of minor scuffles representing the most action on display in the opening exchanges.