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BBC Wales' Gareth Charles
Match report
 real 14k

Wales coach Graham Henry
"We could have put them away"
 real 14k

Springboks captain Andre Vos
"South Africans always like to fight until the last minute"
 real 14k

Wales lock Chris Wyatt
"We've just got to get it right for the Six Nations"
 real 14k

Wales winger Dafydd James
"They adapted better towards the end of the game"
 real 14k

Wales flanker Nathan Budgett
"That's by far our best performance in any of the autumn internationals"
 real 14k

Wales captain Scott Quinnell
expresses his post-match disappointment
 real 56k

Sunday, 26 November, 2000, 20:39 GMT
Late Boks surge slays Wales
Mark Andrews gets the ball to van der Westhuizen
Mark Andrews gets the ball to van der Westhuizen
Wales 13-23 South Africa

A typical southern hemisphere late effort saw South Africa home to a 10-point win in Cardiff.

Wales will be kicking themselves, though, at losing a golden chance to record their second ever win over the Springboks.

The home side looked to have control for much of the match and in the 75th minute - with the scores at 13-13 - Springbok centre Robbie Fleck was sin binned for one of many acts of indiscipline.

But as against Ireland last week the tourists had the superior composure at the crucial moments and - from a stray Welsh line out - they forced an 80th-minute penalty in front of the posts.

Braam van Straaten stroked it between the sticks and two minutes later wing Breyton Paulse raced past a tiring defence for his team's second try.

  Wales v S Africa
1906: Wales 0-11 S Africa (Swansea)
1912: Wales 0-3 S Africa (Cardiff)
1931: Wales 3-8 S Africa (Swansea)
1951: Wales 3-6 S Africa (Cardiff)
1960: Wales 0-3 S Africa (Cardiff)
1964: S Africa 24-3 Wales (Durban)
1970: Wales 3-3 S Africa (Cardiff)
1994: Wales 12-24 South Africa (Cardiff)
1995: S Africa 40-11 Wales (Johannesburg)
1996: Wales 20-36 S Africa (Cardiff)
1998: S Africa 96-13 Wales (Pretoria)
1998: Wales 20-28 S Africa (Wembley)
1999: Wales 29-19 S Africa (Cardiff)
2000: Wales 13-23 S Africa (Cardiff)
Blowing it

After battling for much of the match to attain a platform, Wales blew their scoring chances in the last 20 minutes through poor kicking and botched back moves.

The first 60 minutes was typical of the way international rugby is developing in the modern age - the big men from each side battered away at each other in rugby league style in a bid to wear down the opposing defence.

There were early penalty exchanges between Neil Jenkins and Braam van Straaten, but the real battle was being contested up front.

Wales looked to have the upper hand in the scrums, Peter Rogers as always saving his best for the international arena and Darren Morris holding up well on his switch to the tighthead.

Ebbw Vale youngster Iestyn Thomas replaced Rogers at half-time and he enjoyed an excellent 40 minutes on the biggest stage.

The Springboks' scrum was a weakness against Ireland and it was creaking again.

Colin Charvis tackled by Percy Montgomery
Colin Charvis tackled by Percy Montgomery
Line out shambles

Wales' line out was again a shambles, though, over-complication leading to lost ball and frequent turnovers.

Both Garin Jenkins and replacement Andrew Lewis were guilty of wayward throwing in.

The back rows were well matched, flankers Colin Charvis and Corne Krige catching the eye with some outstanding tackles.

The back line movements were all lateral, though, Wales depending on bringing their two big wingers into the line.

The first moment of incision came in the 16th minute when some slick Springbok passing freed Thinus Delport who flew towards the corner.

Gareth Thomas covered back well to put the full-back into touch at the line.

Dafydd James
Dafydd Jamers off-loads under pressure
Bok basher Gibbs

It was left to Scott Gibbs to open the try scoring against a team he enjoys punishing.

A Welsh attack in the 30th minute seemed to be going nowhere when the ball came to the Swansea centre.

He eyed up old rival Joost van der Westhuizen and when the scrum-half tried to take him high a Gibbs hand off blasted him straight through and over the line.

Springbok wounds from the 1997 British Lions tour seemed to be re-opened.

Westhuizen's revenge

The try helped Wales to a 10-6 lead at the interval and their grip on the match tightened at the start of the second.

Van der Westhuizen is the man for the big stage, though, and after an excellent drive from Andre Vos in the 58th minute he was on hand to snipe through the Welsh ruck defence and over for his side's opening try.

Arwel Thomas replaced Jenkins soon after, coming on to a huge cheer from the crowd.

Graham Henry
Graham Henry: Plans foiled
Henry's plan falters

To this point coach Graham Henry's reliance on the big men to handle South Africa had seemed to bear fruit and now it was time for the pacier backs to show their worth against a tiring defence.

Both Thomas and fellow replacement Shane Williams seemed under pressure to perform, though, needing to prove themselves in a short time.

Thomas missed two drop goals and an easy 70th-minute penalty that would have given Wales a vital late lead, and some inappropriate adventure from Williams cost Wales field position.

It was left to 14-man South Africa to show the composure and claim the victory with their late show.


He (Arwel Thomas) can be a match winner - it wasn't his day today
  Wales coach Graham Henry
Post-match reaction

After the game Graham Henry explained his decision to bring on Arwel Thomas:

"He can be a match winner - it wasn't his day today," he said.

"We lacked composure in attack. We had opportunities to score points and we didn't take them.

"We could have put them away."

Henry was pleased with the performance of the front row and with the commitment shown by his team.


We certainly need to improve against England next week. We've got a lot of work to do before then and a lot of organisation
  Springboks coach Harry Viljoen
Harry Viljoen

South African coach Harry Viljoen was not happy with his team's performance.

"I was not happy with the number of mistakes we made. But we showed a lot of heart at the end," he said.

"Wales put us under a lot of pressure and there were times when I was quite worried.

"We certainly need to improve against England next week. We've got a lot of work to do before then and a lot of organisation.

"We are still a long way from where we want to be."

Send in your post-match reaction


Scorers - Wales: Try: S Gibbs; Con: N Jenkins; Pens: Jenkins, A Thomas

South Africa: Tries: J van der Westhuizen, B Paulse; Cons: B van Straaten (2); Pens: van Straaten (3)

Teams - Wales: R Williams, G Thomas, A Bateman, S Gibbs, D James, N Jenkins, R Howley, P Rogers, G Jenkins, D Morris, C Wyatt, I Gough, N Budgett, S Quinnell (capt), C Charvis
Replacements: A Lewis, I Thomas, S John, G Lewis, R Moon, A Thomas, S Williams

South Africa: Thinus Delport (Golden Lions), Breyton Paulse (Western Province), Bram van Straaten (Western Province), Robbie Fleck (Western Province), Pieter Roussouw (Western Province), Percy Montgomery (Western Province), Joost van der Westhuizen (Blue Bulls), Andre Vos (Lions, capt), Andre Venter (Free State), Corne Krige (Western Province), Mark Andrews (Natal), Albert van den Berg (Natal), Willie Meyer (Lions), John Smit (Natal), Robbie Kempson (Western Province)
Replacements: Charl Marais (Western Province), Hottie Louw (Western Province), Ollie Le Roux (Natal), AJ Venter (Natal), Darren van Zyl (Western Province), Grant Esterhuizen (Golden Lions), Chester Williams (Lions)

Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)

Att: 70,000

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See also:

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19 Nov 00 |  Northern Ireland
Late try ensures Springbok triumph
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Awesome Arwel lifts the gloom
22 Nov 00 |  Wales
Boks nous overcomes Wales
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