Rugby Union: Thomas sent off as Wales succumb
Gauteng Falcons 39 Wales 37
Wednesday 24 June 1998
Thomas, who had only arrived as a tour replacement 36 hours before kick-off, was dismissed in the 62nd minute of his Welsh debut for a straight-arm tackle on Gauteng Falcons' Len van Riet. As the 22-year-old Swansea forward left the field at Van der Bijlpark escorted by the Wales team doctor, Roger Evans, a glass bottle thrown from the crowd narrowly missed him.
Wales were trailing 27-20 when the incident which led to Thomas receiving his marching orders occurred. Van Riet cut inside off his wing and was poleaxed as Thomas attempted a despairing cover tackle. The South African referee, Carl Spannenberg, had no hesitation in issuing the red card.
Wales, however, responded with a brave fightback in the final quarter which took them closest to a victory in any of their four matches in the Republic to date. The tourists were eventually outscored by six tries to four after a free-flowing second half, but their coach, Dennis John, will take heart from the recovery as he prepares his squad for Saturday's Test against the Springboks.
John Funnell, Paul Arnold, Lenny Woodard, and Mark Taylor all managed to score their first tries of the tour for Wales, who were also indebted to three penalties and three conversions which were kicked by the Ebbw Vale outside-half Byron Hayward.
However, once again the Welsh were ultimately let down by a slow start in which they conceded two straightforward tries. That is an area of their game which they must improve before they face the Springboks.
Gauteng Falcons Tries Geyer 2, Strydom, Lourens, Moyle, Booysen. Conversions Van Straaten 2, Vvan As. Penalty Van Straaten.
Wales Tries John Funell, Paul Arnold, Lenny Woodard, Mark Taylor. Conversions Byron Hayward 4. Penalties Byron Hayward 3.
Gauteng Falcons: Matthys; Geyer, Lourens, Meyer, Van Riet; Van Straaten, De Kock; Williamson, Van der Walt, Le Roux, Schroeder, Boardman, Strydom, Rossouw, Volschenk.
Wales: Williams; Woodard, G Evans, Funnell, Rees; Hayward, John; Morris, Jenkins, B Evans, Arnold, Stephens, Lewis, Thomas, Wyatt.
Referee: C Spannerberg (S Africa).
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...