|feedback | low graphics version|
|You are in: Wales|
Sunday, 26 November, 2000, 20:39 GMT
Late Boks surge slays Wales
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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
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)
Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)
All the action from the Welsh-Scottish League
BBC Wales ScrumV
For Wales' squad against the Springboks
Who is Captain Cymru?
Cardiff after the rugby...
How's your pitch?
Enjoy Wales' rugby anthems
25 Nov 00 | Rugby Union
All Blacks end tour on high
26 Nov 00 | Rugby Union
RFU to probe black market claims
25 Nov 00 | Rugby Union
Woodward laments 'cock-up'
19 Nov 00 | Northern Ireland
Late try ensures Springbok triumph
19 Nov 00 | Wales
Awesome Arwel lifts the gloom
22 Nov 00 | Wales
Boks nous overcomes Wales
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Other top Wales stories:
Links to top Wales stories are at the foot of the page.
Links to other Wales stories
|^^ Back to top|
|Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports | Sports Talk |
In Depth | Photo Galleries | Audio/Video | TV & Radio | BBC Pundits | Question of Sport | Funny Old Game
BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy