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).

Wales

Pens: Halfpenny 5

 

South Africa

Tries: De Villiers, Du Plessis, Du Preez,

Cons: Lambie, Steyn 2

Pen: Steyn

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz