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
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...