The returning Bakkies Botha crashed over for a first-half try
Springboks' 2nd half recovery gives Wales a true perspective on their challenge in Durban
The Springboks took 40 minutes to get rid of their rust before revealing their true colours to Warren Gatland's Welsh tourists with a 47-13 win over a tough World XV in Cape Town.
Twice the Boks found themselves trailing in a very hard-fought first-half, but they used the half-time break to iron out a few difficulties and responded with a four-try burst after the break and 29 unanswered points.
Having struggled to break out of their own half at times in the opening period, they got cleaner and quicker possession in the second and made the most of two yellow cards to the invitation side.
Saracens lock Alastair Hargreaves opened the scoring with a close range try after six minutes for the World XV and James O'Connor added the conversion. Another one of the Springboks' returning old guard, Bryan Habana, ran in his 54th international try to give his side the lead midway through the first half, but O'Connor put the World XV back in front with a beautifully struck penalty from 45 metres on 24 minutes.
Habana played a huge part in creating the second try for Botha shortly before the break, but O'Connor's second penalty with the last kick of the half meant there was only a five point gap at the interval.
But that was it as a contest. Two tries from hooker Bismarck du Plessis from driving line-outs, the first when Mamuka Gorgodze was in the sin-bin, and the final flourish, which included tries from Johan Goosen and Willie le Roux, came when Jimmy Cowan was taking an enforced 10 minute break.
"The first half was very difficult, but the second half we were able to build. It's awesome to be back and we hope to build on this in the first Test against Wales," said Bakkies Botha, who picked up a try and the man of the match award
"We got back to structure after a tough first-half. There is a still a lot of work to be done ahead of next week."
Botha's legendary second row partner, Victor Matfield, was also much happier at the end of 80 minutes than he was after 40. He will go into Saturday's game defending a record of 10 games without defeat against the Welsh.
"There is a lot to work on this week, but there are still things we are happy about. Next weekend is a serious Test match against a team that will know each other well and will have a more structured defence," he said.
If it was Wales' chance to check on the Springboks in this game, Matfield and co will get their opportunity on Tuesday when Wales' second-string take on the Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Scorers: South Africa: Tries: B du Plessis 2, B Habana, B Botha, J Goosen, W le Roux; Cons: M Steyn 3, J Goosen 2; Pen: M Steyn 2. World XV: Try: A Hargreaves; Con: J O'Connor; Pens: J O'Connor 2.
South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn, Bryan Habana (Lwazi Mvovo 69); Morne Steyn (Johan Goosen 69), Ruan Pienaar (Fourie du Preez 519; Tendai Mtawarira (Gurthro Steenkamp 66), Bismarck du Plessis (Schalk Brits 61), Jannie du Plessis (Coenie Oosthuizen 65), Bakkies Botha (F van der Merwe 51), Victor Matfield (captain), Francois Louw, Willem Alberts (Schalk Burger 61), Duane Vermeulen
World XV: James O'Connor (L.Irish / Australia); Drew Mitchell (Toulon / Australia), Rene Ranger (Montpellier / New Zealand), Wynand Olivier (Montpellier / South Africa), Hosea Gear (Toulouse / New Zealand); Matt Giteau (Toulon / Australia, captain), Rory Kockott (Castres Olympique; Sona Taumalolo (Perpigna / Tona), Craig Burden (Toulon), Carl Hayman (Toulon / New Zealand), Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro 92 / South Africa), Alistair Hargreaves (Saracens / South Africa), Mamuka Gorgodze (Montpellier / Georgia), Steffon Armitage (Toulon / England), Roger Wilson (Ulster / Ireland)
Replacements: Andrew Hore (Highlanders / New Zealand) for Burdin 48; Joe Tekori (Toulouse / Samoa) for Kruger 41; Schalk Ferreira (Toulouse) for Taumalolo 55; Pat Cilliers (Western Province / South Africa) for Hayman 55; Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier / France) for Giteau 59; Jimmy Cowan (Gloucester / New Zealand) for Kockott 66: Alexandre Lapandry (ASM Clermont Auvergne / France) for Armitage 66.
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.