Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

WATCH: Pivac, Biggar reflect on Wales pushing Boks close on SA tour

After a disastrous Six Nations campaign, Wales just edged by the Boks over the three Test series.

Despite eventually succumbing to a two-one series defeat against the world champion Springboks in South Africa, after losing the deciding Test 30-14 in Cape Town on Saturday, Wales are happy with the progress made over the past few months.

Earlier in the year Wales endured a disastrous Six Nations where they finished second from bottom, including losing at home to Italy, while slipping dramatically down the world rugby rankings.

However, they fronted up superbly against South Africa in the three Test series, just being edged in the first game, before sneaking a win in the second to take the series to a decider that not many people will have predicted.

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“There is always going to be a slight disappointment with the way the series has ended. But I think if you look at the tour in general we did well,” explained captain Dan Biggar.

“To get a win (in South Africa), no Welsh team has ever done that, so that’s a huge tick. I think we were unlucky not to win the first Test and then pinched the second one late on.

“So overall I think it’s been a really positive tour. From where we came from at the end of the Six Nations, I don’t think anyone will have predicted how the tour would have gone in this sense.”

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Biggar continued: “So we are disappointed not to have picked up a series win because we felt like coming into this week it was right there for the taking, but we fell a bit short at the end of a long season.

“But we said that these are the standards that we set ourselves now, opposed to where we fell off a bit towards the end of the Six Nations. So it’s important that we don’t slip off from that.”

Coach Wayne Pivac also echoed Biggar’s sentiments, admitting the disappointment of the final result, but happy with the positive steps made over what was a very tough tour.

“We are a little bit frustrated with the score line at the end. But we are certainly not disappointed with the effort that has gone in over the past six weeks really, in all I was happy with the tour itself,” said Pivac.

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“We came here with the goal of trying to win a series and we were serious about that, it wasn’t just talk. The players worked really well together and came together well on this tour, so we will take a lot of positives out of that.

“We are pleased to have got the history of the first Test win (in South Africa) last week. But certainly this week there were some big moments at times when the pressure South Africa exerted on us paid dividends for them.”

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