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Saturday, 8 June, 2002, 16:31 GMT 17:31 UK
Brave Wales downed by Boks
Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel looks to off-load to Mark Taylor under pressure
Wales scrum-half Peel produced a polished display
South Africa 34-19 Wales

An enterprising Welsh effort was eventually crushed by a new-look South African side who won the first Test by five tries to two.

Wales dominated the opening half-hour and scored the game's first try after just eight minutes through wing Craig Morgan.

But South Africa went into the break 15-11 in front after hitting back with tries from Marius Joubert and Bob Skinstad.

And although the Boks also won the second half by three tries to one, Wales fought to the finish with Rhys Williams grabbing their second score.

  Match facts
South Africa 34
Tries: Joubert, Skinstad, Matfield, Penalty, Rautenbach
Cons: Pretorius (3)
Pen: Pretorius
Wales 19
Tries: C Morgan, R Williams
Pens: Jones (2)
DG: Jones

"Of course we wanted to win the match," said Wales coach Steve Hansen.

"But the final score is the final score and the key thing is that the boys in the Springbok dressing room know they have been in a test match.

"We earned their respect today."

The tourists took just eight minutes to breach the Springbok line, creating a well-worked try for Craig Morgan from a scrum inside the South African 22.

The Cardiff flyer came off his wing to take a short pass from scrum-half Dwayne Peel and burst past Andre Snyman and Breyton Paulse to score at the right flag.

Jones missed the conversion but added a penalty 10 minutes later and a confident drop goal on the half-hour mark.

That made the score 11-3 to Wales, as South Africa had got off the mark between Jones' kicks through a Pretorius penalty.

The South African's three-pointer was an unconvincing effort that symbolised the nervous start made by his inexperienced team.

But they gained in confidence as the game wore on and took the lead on the stroke of half-time with the second of two tries in less than 10 minutes.

Michael Owen runs on to the ground to become the 1000th player capped by Wales
Thumbs up: Michael Owen enjoyed a confident debut

Outside-centre Joubert scored the first, skating over from 15 yards after scrum-half Johannes Conradie created an opening with a quick tapped penalty.

That took South Africa to within a point of Wales and was the cue for the Boks' old guard to put them into the lead.

AJ Venter, Snyman and Willie Meyer battered their way into the Welsh 22, sucking in sufficient bodies to give captain Skinstad room to charge over on the right to make the half-time score 15-11.

Wales were first onto the board after the break with Jones' second penalty, but South Africa hit back ominously with a try on 51 minutes.

It was created by Pretorius, who had switched to full-back after Ricardo Loubscher went off injured.

He beat Rhys Williams with a sweet side-step and forced Peel to bundle his chip and chase into touch at the flag.

The Springbok pack worked a peel from the lineout and Victor Matfield grabbed the touchdown.

Wales could have re-taken the lead but for Colin Charvis' forward pass.

And, crucially, the next touchdown went to South Africa, referee Kelvin Deaker awarding a penalty try when Jones tackled Paulse without the ball as he looked to gather Conradie's kick.

Pretorius' conversion made the lead 27-14 but Wales still refused to lie down.

Rhys Williams raced in for a try on the right to close the gap to eight.

But South Africa had the final word when replacement Faan Rautenbach plunged over at the posts.

The two-match series now moves on to Cape Town for the second Test next Saturday.

South Africa: Ricardo Loubscher (Sharks); Stefan Terblanche (Sharks), Marius Joubert (WP), Andre Snyman (Sharks), Breyton Paulse (WP); Andre Pretorius (Lions), Johannes Conradie (WP); Daan Human (WP), James Dalton (Falcons), Willie Meyer (Lions), Victor Matfield (Bulls), Jannes Labuschagne (Lions), Bob Skinstad (WP, capt), AJ Venter (Sharks), Warren Britz (Sharks).
Reps: Ollie le Roux (Sharks), Faan Rautenbach (WP), Quinton Davids (WP), Joe van Niekerk (Lions), Craig Davidson (Sharks), Adrian Jacobs (Bulls), Brent Russell (Pumas).

Wales: Kevin Morgan (Swansea); Rhys Williams (Cardiff), Mark Taylor (Swansea), Andy Marinos (Newport), Craig Morgan (Cardiff); Stephen Jones (Llanelli), Dwayne Peel (Llanelli); Iestyn Thomas (Llanelli), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Ben Evans (Swansea), Steve Williams (Northampton), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), Michael Owen (Pontypridd), Martyn Williams (Cardiff), Colin Charvis (Swansea, capt).
Reps: Mefin Davies (Neath), Martyn Madden (Llanelli), Robert Sidoli (Pontypridd), Richard Parks (Pontypridd), Ryan Powell (Cardiff), Neil Jenkins (Cardiff), Tom Shanklin (Saracens).

Referee: Kelvin Deaker (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Tony Spreadbury (England) and Alan Lewis (Ireland)

BBC Wales' Gareth Charles
"A young Welsh team looked confident and capable"
Wales coach Steve Hansen
"There was a big improvement in a lot of areas"
Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel
"We brought a lot of confidence into the match"
Follow Wales on their two-Test tour to South Africa

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