Lessons to be learned from South Africa's win over Wales 6 years ago

Lessons to be learned from South Africa's win over Wales

Wales crashed out of the World Cup with a 23-19 defeat to South Africa in the first quarter-final of the weekend.

Warren Gatland's men could not find a way to see off a below-par Springbok side despite leading deep into the second half.


In the end, Fourie du Preez's try was enough to send the South Africans into the next round.

Here are the four main talking points from the game:

Wales were punished for their indiscipline

The Welsh players went into the half with a 13-12 lead but they should have been much further ahead. It is hard to think of a time South Africa really looked like scoring in the opening hour of the game.


Still, the Springboks were still very much in the game at half-time thanks to a series of stupid - and entirely avoidable - penalties conceded by their opponents.

After both kick offs following Welsh scores in the first half, Wales immediately gave away a kickable penalty upon receiving the ball. It was the sort of indiscipline which would cost you dearly at schoolboy level, let alone in a World Cup quarter-final.

Warren Gatland has questions to answer

After Wales managed to overcome England in spite of their injuries, Warren Gatland was widely hailed as a genius. It was strange to see so much praise fall at his feet when a patchwork backline scored an improbable - but fantastic - try.

In the three big games Wales have played in at this tournament against England, Australia and South Africa, they scored just two tries. Both came from individual moments of brilliance as Gareth Davies finished from neat-but-risky kicks from Lloyd Williams and Dan Biggar.


Against Australia, Wales failed to find a try even when the Wallabies were reduced to 13 men. Once again today the Welsh backline lacked any sort of cutting edge.

While it is true that they have been dealt a rough hand with injuries, it is still worrying to see someone of Gatland's experience fail to address such a glaring issue.


South Africa are back to being unimpressive

Everybody had written off the Springboks following their opening day defeat to Japan, but a string of high-scoring wins meant expectations began to rise again for the 2007 champions.

But after this performance, you'll excuse us if we're not convinced. While many will point to the amount of tackles made by Welsh players as a sign of a strong Welsh defence, honestly it was more of a case of South Africans running right into them.

Players like Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen were willing to throw around a few cute offloads - one of which led to the winning try - but the back-line was so lacking in creativity that it was almost embarrassing.


Make no mistake about it - this was a poor South African performance and Wales have only themselves to blame for not winning this game.

The southern fear factor has begun to take hold

It may be a cliche, but it's true. The southern hemisphere teams own a psychological advantage over their northern counterparts, and have taken the first scalp of this weekend of north vs south quarter-finals.

During his eight-year tenure, Warren Gatland's Wales have only beaten one of the southern big three once. In that same time, Gatland has steered Wales to two Six Nations Grand Slams and a World Cup semi-final.

Argentina, meanwhile, have looked far more competitive since joining the Rugby Championship, and you have to believe that's partly down to losing their fear of the SANZAR teams following regular exposure.