HOOKER Carys Phillips marked her first Wales start for two years with a hat-trick of tries in their 29-19 win over South Africa in Saturday's women's international at Cardiff Arms Park.

Ioan Cunningham's team followed up last weekend's 23-5 victory over Japan - which ended a two-year losing streak - with another strong performance against the Springboks, despite making seven changes to the starting XV.

Wales made the perfect start, with Phillips crashing over for her first try off the back of a strong driving line-out before scrum-half Ffion Lewis combined with number eight Siwan Lillicrap off the base of the scrum to add a second.

A penalty from Elinor Snowsill made it 17-0 at half-time and there was no way back for the visitors when another solid line-out enabled Phillips to score her second try 11 minutes into the second half.

Wing Nomawethu Mabenge pulled a try back, but Wales took advantage of the the sin-binning of Libbie Janse Van Rensburg for a high tackle to create the position for Phillips to complete her hat-trick on 68 minutes.

Snowsill's third conversion made it 29-7, but the tourists finished the game with a flourish, scoring late consolation tries through centre Zintle Mpupha and Van Rensburg.

"To be fair, it's a hell of a feeling," said Phillips.

"It's been a long two years and to come back to that intensity was tough, but fair play to the girls, they put in a hell of a shift.

"South Africa are a tough team and we got the win in the end, so happy days."