Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber was left to reflect on the lessons learned on a difficult night for the team after Wales pulled off a tight 13-12 victory at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday night.
This was first ever victory for Wales in South Africa, creating a sweet story for the visitors as well as keeping a three-match streak going until the decider in Cape Town.
However, the Boxes will be looking to field a full team in the final test next week after their experimental roster, which included 14 changes in series 15 and 19 changes in match-23, nearly came to an end. a game they probably should have won.
“Both tests went to landfill. In one, we were on the winning side, and in the other, we were on the losing side. In this game, I thought the intensity was there. We had several opportunities to convert in the first half, and the inaccuracy cost us,” Ninaber said.
“Then in the second half, discipline cost us when we gave Wales the opportunity to get back in the game.
“We said from the start that we have a plan for all 42 players and if we need to be open and honest, we could go the conservative route and try to end the streak.”
Ninaber continued: “But if you look at the test matches this weekend. Playing Ireland against New Zealand and England against Australia, if we had gone down that path we could still have lost the Test match.
Wales will always be a tight match, you can never be sure you will beat Wales. It will always be a tense game until the very end, like in the last two test matches.
“But now we have the answers. We have answers for 42 players and we always had a plan to get answers for the players. We were aware of the risks involved, but I think the answers outweigh the risks.”
Despite the disappointment of their first loss to Wales in South Africa, the Springboks now need to pull themselves together and prepare for the final game of the series with everything to play for at the Cape Town stadium.
“You never want to lose. We are playing for much more than just winning test matches. We play for South Africa, for our fans, and we feel that today we let down this phenomenal crowd by not getting a victory, ”admitted Ninaber.
“Therefore, there will be a struggle before the last game. We said from the beginning that Wales would come here not to compete, but to win the series. So the final will be next weekend.”