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Player Ratings: Outmuscled

OPINION: Wales failed to build on last weekend’s historic win as they were beaten by South Africa on Saturday.


Wales suffered a 14-30 loss to the Springboks, who sealed the series two-one in Cape Town.

Wayne Pivac’s men, who were looking to become the first Welsh team to win a series on South African soil,  struggled with the Boks’ brutal onslaught.

Handre Pollard, Bongi Mbonambi and Siya Kolisi all crossed the tryline for the Boks, while Tommy Reffell scored Wales’ only try.

Leezil Hendricks rates the Wales players!

15 Liam Williams
The always reliable king of the air missed the first high ball in the opening minutes, which might have rattled him. Was also the receiver of a big hit from Damien Willemse. He was not horrendous, but the fullback was not a threat with the ball.

14 Louis Rees-Zammit
Came to life in the 18th minute of the match, causing big problems with his fleet-footed runs. Furthermore, in defence he was good, keeping the likes of Makozola Mapimpi intact.


13 George North 
The centre became the most-capped backline Welsh player of all time. His well-executed hand-off on Cheslin Kolbe certainly stands out. His defence was impressive – a big hit on Lukhanyo Am and he dragged Damian Willemse to touch. He made two great runs, but he still needs to find his feet in the midfield, looks like there is so much more he can do, especially on attack.

12 Nick Tompkins 
He has been one of the standouts for the Wales team during the Series. He made some great runs and was instrumental in Wales’ try. Made a few questionable decisions in his own five metre. Got an ugly head knock in the 34th minute but recover well. He also tackled his heart out despite failing to stop Siya Kolisi on his way to the tryline.

11 Josh Adams 
The wing came close to scoring a try but fell just short. Nonetheless, his overall game continues to be impressive. He showed great pace to cover Lukhanyo Am late in the second half. A very busy character, and also didn’t back down from the physical encounters.

10 Dan Biggar (captain) 
It was a challenging first quarter for the pivot, missing a conversion and two tackles. He eventually gained confidence and produced a much better second-half show – he slotted over two consecutive penalties. But in the end, he was outshined by his opposition  Handre Pollard.


9 Kieran Hardy 
His first kick from the base did not travel that well and put his team under pressure. He was charged down by Eben Etzebeth in the second half. Not as good as the two previous weeks and was replaced after 50 minutes of play.

8 Josh Navidi 
Despite being a very late replacement for Taulupe Faletau just minutes before kick-off, the No.8 was solid. He made 15 tackles only missed one and made 6 carries. He collected the ball really well from kick-off.

7 Tommy Reffell 
He made his debut at Loftus Versfeld, received the man of the match last week and has backed it up with yet another great performance in Cape Town. He scored his team’s only try and was very busy at the breakdown. The flank looks very comfortable at Test level. Still, question why he had to leave the field after 55 minutes.

6 Dan Lydiate – N/A
Made a great start with some solid hits. However, the flank left the field in the 15th minute after a head knock with his teammate Ryan Elias.

5 Adam Beard 
It was a tough day at the office for the lock but did well to stop one or two Boks’ mauls. He also made some strong carries which got his team over the gain line.

4 Will Rowlands 
He conceded his team’s first penalty, which handed the Boks an early 3-0 lead. However, made up for it with some strong carries.

3 Dillon Lewis 
The tighthead really struggled with the scrums, conceding a couple of penalties. The prop’s work at line-out was just as troubling, committing double-faults in the 25th minute and was eventually replaced at halftime.

2 Ryan Elias 
Certainly can’t fault his work rate, he made tackles and only missed one. His line-out has been proven much better than his replacement Dewi Lake. However, his open play is a concern. Left the field at halt time.

1 Gareth Thomas 
Whether it could be the turf of the Cape Town Stadium, the prop, similar to his front-row partner, struggled at scrum time. Made some big hits but found the Boks’ physicality a big challenge.


16 Dewi Lake (On for Ellias, 40th Minute)
After less than a minute on the field, the replacement hooker won a penalty. He also added stability to Wales’ scrums. However, his line-out throw-ins continue to be a concern.

17 Wyn Jones, (On for Thomas, 56th minute)
His opportunity was very limited and entered the field with Boks already in pole position.

18 Sam Wainwright (On for Lewis, 40th minute)
He conceded crucial penalties inside the Boks’ 22.

19 Alun Wyn Jones (on for Lydiate, 15th minute)
Took to the field in the 15th minute and was the leading figure Wales needed. He did his basics perfectly and was very effective at the line-outs.

20 Taine Basham (on for Reffell, 55th minute)
Did not make much of an impact, and struggled at the breakdown as Springboks dominated proceedings.

21 Tomos Williams (on for Hardy, 50th minute)
He made a few dangerous runs and his box kicks were also effective however it was a little too late.

22 Rhys Patchell -N/A
Not used

23 Owen Watkin (on for Tomkins, 54th minute)
Failed to make an impact, while he was also on the receiving end of a big hit from Siya Kolisi.



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