Wales 15 South Africa 24 match report: Wales fail once again to beat South Africa

Warren Gatland's team lose four players to injury before half-time as South Africa prove too strong

the millennium stadium

A horrible sense of déjà vu reverberated around the Millennium Stadium, where the home side suffered a familiar fate at the hands of South Africa. Wales have enjoyed unbridled success recently but the long wait goes on for a result to offer hope that they can become genuine World Cup contenders.

The Dragons huffed and puffed, but even the presence of 11 British Lions could not prevent a 17th successive defeat to one of the Tri-Nations teams and, given the players involved, it is hard to see when that run will end.

To compound Welsh woes, Jonathan Davies could be ruled out for the Six Nations with a pectoral injury. The British Lion was one of four Welshmen injured in the first half alone as the reigning Six Nations champions failed once again to claim the southern hemisphere scalp they crave.

Davies' midfield partner Jamie Roberts is already out for the autumn, but the loss of such an in-form player is a major blow.

The Wales coach, Warren Gatland, said: "It's a huge blow to lose Jonathan. He was looking sharp and is a big part of our game right now. We're hoping the problem might settle down but if he needs an operation then he is looking at up to five months out, which takes him out of the Six Nations."

Five penalties by Leigh Halfpenny kept Wales in this game for an hour, but a try count of 3-0 tells its own story as Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis and Fourie du Preez showed why South Africa have only lost to one team all year – and that was New Zealand.

"It feels like we're taking one step forward and two steps back," said Gatland. "The southern hemisphere teams are used to playing at that tempo and speed and it takes time for our players to catch up. South Africa didn't make a lot of mistakes and the turnovers were the telling factor between the teams.

"There are some things for us to work on but there are a huge amount of positives for the players. This was a huge step-up in intensity from where they have come from."

The only thing more predictable than the outcome was the chorus of boos that greeted the referee Alain Rolland and it took just 20 minutes before he was reunited with Sam Warburton, the man he sent off in the 2011 World Cup semi-final, by which time Wales were already facing an enormous task.

It took them that long to come to terms with the physicality of the Springboks and it was while Scott Williams was receiving treatment that a ruthless South Africa showed the stark difference in the efficiency between the teams.

Bryan Habana seized the chance, beating Richard Hibbard and George North. Liam Williams slipped on the greasy turf and was floored by Du Plessis, leaving De Villiers to juggle possession before scoring.

Wales had to reshuffle their back line as James Hook and Ashley Beck replaced Williams and Jonathan Davies, forcing Halfpenny on to the wing, and matters worsened when Du Plessis drove over and Adam Jones trudged off.

The boot of Halfpenny and the fist of Bath's Francois Louw, binned for striking Richard Holland, kept Wales in the game.

Gethin Jenkins and Coenie Oosthuizen received yellow cards, from a collapsed scrum, but South Africa's kicking game finally told.

Rhys Priestland looked to have matters covered, only for the ball to bounce short and into the hands of Jaque Fourie, who simultaneously flicked his pass to Du Preez and the scrum-half was over for the decisive try.

Wales L Halfpenny; G North, J Davies (J Hook, 12), S Williams, L Williams (A Beck, 12); R Priestland, M Phillips (L Williams, 72); G Jenkins, R Hibbard (K Owens, 63), A Jones (S Andrews, 31, P James, h-t), B Davies, AW Jones (L Charteris, 72), D Lydiate (J Tipuric, 63), S Warburton (capt), T Faletau.

South Africa P Lambie; JP Pietersen, J Fourie, J De Villiers (capt), B Habana; M Steyn (W Le Roux, 18), F Du Preeze (R Pienaar, 77); T Mtawarira (G Steenkamp, 73), B Du Plessis (A Strauss, 66), F Malherbe (C Oosthuizen, 56), E Etzebeth (P Du Toit, 68), F Van Der Merwe, F Louw, W Alberts (S kolisi, 66), D Vermeulen.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland).


Pens: Halfpenny 5


South Africa

Tries: De Villiers, Du Plessis, Du Preez,

Cons: Lambie, Steyn 2

Pen: Steyn

Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable