South Africa tour 'big step in right direction' for Pivac's Wales

·2 min read

Wales coach Wayne Pivac said on Saturday his team had made progress despite losing their Test series against South Africa.

The Kiwi said there was "a little frustration with the scoreline" after South Africa won the third Test 30-14 at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday to clinch the series 2-1.

But Pivac was pleased with the effort put in by his players who had come back from a disappointing Six Nations campaign to compete strongly with the Rugby World Cup winners.

"It is a big step in the right direction," he told reporters.

"We need to build on this tour."

Captain Dan Biggar echoed Pivac's words, especially after last weekend's first victory in South Africa over the Springboks.

"Overall, it has been a really good campaign. Picking up a win was a huge tick and we played some good rugby as well."

Biggar said his team had come back strongly after going 10-0 down in the first 15 minutes and were well in the game when trailing 14-17 soon after half-time.

"Credit to South Africa," said fly-half Biggar.

"They strangled the game a bit and forced us to make a couple of errors. It felt we spent a lot of time in our own half."

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber said Wales had proved difficult opponents.

"I would not say it was comfortable," he said of the final margin.

"It was what we expect from Wales. They are a tough team to put away."

- 'Pitched up' -

Springboks captain and flanker Siya Kolisi said the series had been tough -- "exactly what we needed to start our season".

He said the multiple changes for the second Test, which Wales won 13-12, had a benefit for the development of the Springboks squad.

"The coaching staff had a plan from the beginning and they stuck to (it). A lot of players had opportunities and that is important.

"Today we were playing in a final and the players pitched up."

South Africa outscored Wales by three tries to one in front of a crowd of more than 50,000, using physical strength to great effect.

Both Handre Pollard and Kolisi scored by brushing aside two opponents to barge over the line while the other try, from Bongi Mbonambi, came from an unstoppable driving maul.

Ill-discipline was a problem for Wales throughout the series -- they had four players yellow-carded in the first Test, one in the second, and conceded 15 penalties, five more than the hosts, in Cape Town.

While Wales now take a close-season break, South Africa host arch rivals New Zealand on August 6 and 13 in the Rugby Championship.

cb-dl/iwd