Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
1 minute read
9 Nov 2013
7:00 am

Bok place in Welsh history

Rudolph Jacobs

The Springboks played a big part in the history of the 14-year-old Millennium Stadium – but it's not something they want to be reminded of that often.

FILE PICTURE: Jean de Villiers. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

It was in 1999 during the official opening of the elite venue –after the ageing Cardiff Arms Park was pushed aside – that the Boks suffered their only defeat to the Welsh, losing 29-19.

But that remains the only blemish on a near-perfect record against Wales, although the last four encounters only threw up a points difference of five or less.

And while Bok coach Heyneke Meyer expressed his wish earlier this week for the roof to remain open to get used to the same conditions they are likely to encounter in the 2015 World Cup, the Welsh decided the roof will be closed.

But with heavy rain over Cardiff since Thursday it is expected that there will be wet underfoot conditions, while the surface will be heavy and slow.

“We’ll play in conditions we’ve not yet encountered this year, but we want to keep our positive mind-set on the field and hopefully keep on scoring tries,” said Meyer.

“We’re up for the challenge. I know the players are keen to finish 2013 off on a high,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wales backline coach Rob Howley expected a kicking approach from the Boks, although he did hint at a change of mindset with Pat Lambie at fullback.

“With the likes of Lambie, Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen we expect a different angle on the aerial game from the Boks – but in George North we have somebody who can counter that,” he said.