VIDEO: Biggar says Boks can expect more Welsh baiting
Wales captain Dan Biggar is not about to apologise for his barbed behaviour in the first Test against South Africa at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria at the weekend, won 32029 by the Springboks.
Biggar promised Wales will come at Boks even harder in the second Test in Bloemfontein this coming Saturday, as the tourists look to keep the three-match series alive.
The Welsh skipped made no excuses for the gamesmanship used to achieve an end and it is likely there could be more skulduggery at the Free State stadium.
Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi said ‘those things’ happen in a game.
“I think they got under our skins,” Kolisi said, when asked about some of the caustic and spiteful exchanges between the two captains – which also involved verbal exchanges with the match officials.
“Obviously we did a couple of things [that were] out of character.
“What they wanted to do, they did in the first half and everything happened on their terms.”
Wales held an 18-3 lead at the half-time break, with the Boks scoring four second-half tries to sneak a fortuitous 32-29 win with an injury-time Damian Willemse penalty.
Asked about the statement by Kolisi that Wales ‘got under their skins’, Biggar was nonplussed over the question of his team’s tactics.
“I don’t know what the referee expected us to do, just come here and lie down,” Bigger snapped back over the conversations with Georgian match official Nika Amashukeli.
“Did the referee expect us to give South Africa their own way?”
He admitted they wanted to ‘get in the Bok faces’ and get amongst them – “not take a backward step”.
Biggar added that it is “part of the game”.
(Article continues below …)
“If you stand off to South Africa out here, you will get steamrolled pretty quickly,” the Welsh skipper said.
“You have to show some fight, some energy, some aggression, some competitiveness and just get into it.
“I didn’t see any issue with it.
“They were just as niggly, competitive and abrasive as we were.
“From our point that was perfect for us – exactly what we wanted.”
Coach Wayne Pivac said both teams will ‘improve’ and it should lend itself to a “very good” second Test in Bloemfontein this coming Saturday.
“You will have two teams that will be highly motivated and highly charged after the first Test,” Pivac said.
Biggar, when questioned a second time about his team’s tactics in the opening international of the series, said he could not understand why people are bothered about it.
“It is a Test away from home against the World Cup champions.
“I am not sure what people expect us [to do], just roll the carpet out for them and applaud them off the pitch.
“I don’t know what the issue is. It is Test rugby.
“We are more than happy to get stuck into them. That is what Test matches are about.
“I see it as a non-event. That is exactly what you want from a Test match.
“You want it confrontational. You want it abrasive. You want it aggressive.
“I don’t see any issue.
“There was no dirty play. It was just [two teams] going at it and being confrontational.
“That was great for us and worked for us, certainly in the first half.
“What happens on the field, you shake hands afterwards and there is absolutely zero issue.”
* Picture credit: Johan Orton