After coming agonizingly close to upsetting the Springboks in the opening Test at Loftus, Wales will be looking to improve their discipline ahead of the second Test at Bloemfontein this weekend.
After maintaining an 18-3 lead at halftime, the visitors, who saw captain Dan Biggar get sent into the basket for a high tackle shortly before halftime, conceded three more yellow cards in the last 15 minutes of the game. allowing the masters to fight back and steal the victory after the regular beep.
“It was very disappointing for both players and staff. We did what we wanted in the first half, our plans worked. We put a lot of pressure on Springboks and they made some early mistakes and we were able to capitalize and score some points,” said Wales manager Wayne Peevak.
“The most important thing during the break was to focus on our discipline. I think we converted nine penalties in the first half.
“It’s hard to play world champions in their backyard 15v15 and we did pretty well, but we’ll have to go and look at our discipline.
“Four yellow cards is quite difficult, but it happened and unfortunately we didn’t cross the line.”
Asked if he felt his team had suffered a lot in terms of officiating, Biggar was diplomatic, refusing to say too much but admitting they felt some decisions didn’t go their way.
“We must first look at ourselves. We have probably given some easy entries and easy solutions with some of these penalties. It’s hard to say too much when you’re emotional. I think when we go back and look at him, we will be able to judge him better,” Biggar said.
“But of course some of them were a bit harsh. But on the other hand, when you give a team like South Africa a little bit of momentum, they’re very hard to stop and probably pretty easy to judge them.”
Biggar himself had a mixed evening, initially starting long before he struggled after the break, and together with a first-half yellow card, he missed a decisive conversion and converted the winning penalty at the end.
“It was just one of those nights. I’ve been in the game long enough for me to have some good moments and it’s probably a disappointing moment that I didn’t make it,” Biggar admitted.
“But as a band we are incredibly proud of the effort we put in. I don’t think anyone could have predicted how the game would end. So we’re really proud of the effort, but it was definitely a missed opportunity.
“I would say it was an absolute privilege for me to play there. It was one of the best venues I’ve ever played, so in order for us to put on a show in the first test on top – with such a crowd against us, against the world champions – there is no doubt that we can get better in the next weekends. ”