CARDIFF, Wales (NWN) – South Africa beat New Zealand in their last outing and New Zealand scored 54 points on Wales last weekend, so it stands to reason that Wales are in for another long Saturday when they host the Springboks. .
Except maybe not for one reason: Wales doesn’t have the same hang up about South Africa as it does about New Zealand.
The Welsh last defeated New Zealand 68 years ago. They are not completely sure they can win.
The Welsh last defeated South Africa three years ago. In fact, they have beaten South Africa in the last four visits to Cardiff. In this regard, the Welsh are absolutely convinced that they can win, they have no mental barriers, they know the taste of victory at the expense of South Africa.
There is no question of a fifth consecutive victory over the spectators in the princely stadium, although it was not expected.
Even with the match falling in the official Test rugby window and all overseas Wales internationals unreachable, only four players were called up for duty for a team that was heavily depleted by injuries.
The welcome return of Dan Bigger, Nick Tompkins and Louis Rees-Zmitt – an off-form Liam Williams is in reserve – should at least rectify the inaccuracy of the kick-chase game that was ruthlessly exploited by the All Blacks. But they are no further, whose set-piece incompetence was also exposed by the All Blacks.
Only three of the Wales pack have survived, including flanker Ellis Jenkins, whose last Test match was that of the Springboks in Cardiff in 2018. He broke his right knee at the last minute and did not play again until February this year.
Jenkins’ leadership expertise will also be crucial for Wales after talismanic captain Alun Vin Jones lost to a shoulder injury that they are expected to pull out of the Six Nations. Coach Wayne Pivac said this week that he expects Jones, 36, to be back before the end of the season and even soldiers for a fifth World Cup.
If New Zealand’s match did anything positive other than giving away £4m in much-needed funding, it gave Wales the momentum and power it would bring to South Africa, and then Australia in two weeks.
The Springboks’ last win over New Zealand in Australia a month earlier restored their faith in their critical system, which, like Wales’ game plan in recent Cardiff competitions, is based on kick-chases and defence.
They are relaxed, comfortable in their strategy, and intent on their first win in Cardiff since 2013. There are only three changes to the lineup with a deep core of 2019 Rugby World Cup winners who beat Wales. Semifinals.
“Everybody does their analysis and we watch the game, so you always have an idea of what a team is going to bring in and what their DNA is going into the game,” recalled wing Jesse Creel says. “But it’s always the case that you don’t know 20% of what they’re going to bring.
“So it’s just about focusing on our system and getting things the way we want — dominating the physical part of things — and the rest will sort itself out.”
Wales: Johnny McNichol, Louis-Rees-Zammitt, Jonathan Davis (captain), Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams, Dan Bigger, Tomos Williams; Aaron Wainwright, Tan Basham, Alice Jenkins, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Tomas Francis, Ryan Elias, Rhys Carrey. Reserves: Bradley Roberts, Wayne Jones, Wilgriff John, Ben Carter, Seb Davis, Gareth Davis, Gareth Enscombe, Liam Williams.
South Africa: Damien Willems, Jesse Creel, Lukhanyo M, Damien d’Allende, Makazol Mpimpi, Hendre Pollard, Herschel Jantzi; Duane Vermeulen, Kwagga Smith, Sia Colisi (c), Lude de Jagger, Eben Atzebeth, Trevor Nykane, Bongi Mbonnambi, Aux Nache. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostart, Jasper Wiese, Kobus Reinach, Elton Jantzie, Frans Stein.
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