SOUTH AFRICA 19 WALES 8.
Wales could hold their heads up high after their trip to South Africa - despite going down to defeat in both test matches.
The second test, played in pouring rain
at Cape Town on Saturday, saw the series lost, though Wales had led 3-0 and were level at 8-all with just over an hour gone on the clock.
Bobby Skinstad and his side were forced to dig deep and produce a late burst to clinch a keenly-fought test.
Wales skipper Colin Charvis and his pack never took a backward step and coach Steve Hansen can have a genuine cause for believing he now has the nucleus of a pack capable of competing with some of the best around.
In the line-out Steve Williams and Gareth Llewellyn, along with young Michael Owen, comfortably held their
own and the Welsh scrum gave fly half Sephen Jones a stable platform to use his boot with telling effect. However, safety first tactics had to be used as the general order of the day due to the difficult conditions.
Speedsters Craig Morgan and Rhys Williams proved that they can do some damage, though it was skipper Charis who claimed the Wales try.
Wales are beginning to get into potential winning positions but failing to get across the fnishing line, lacking the crucial killer touches and still a bit of self belief at vital times.
It took the Springboks until the final 12 minutes when they scored 11 points and thereby wrapped up th series as Andre Pretorious finished with three penalty goals and the try-count was 2-1 in favour of South Africa.
Wales, who lost the first test by 34-19 in Bloemfontein a week earlier, again drew first blood in a scrappy first half dominated by rain and neither side was able to fully master the conditions while the forward battle saw tempers frequently threaten to boil over.
South Arican prop Willie Meyer was shown the yellow card after an incident with Robin McBryde in the 24th minute, just after Jones had kicked Wales into the lead with a penalty goal after flanker Venter was caught offside.
The Springboks drew level with Pretorious landing his first penalty goal before they went ahead in the final minute of the half as the dangerous full back Brent Russell sliced through for the only try of the half.
Wales had suffered an early blow with the loss of scrum half Dwayne Peel with an ankle injury after just 11 minutes.
Yet, they equalised from a slickly worked forwards try as Steve Williams won clean possession and when Wales laid it back quickly Charvis powered his way over the line.
It stayed at 8-8 until Pretorious kicked two more penalties and replacement scrum half Craig Davidson snapped up a try by charging down an attempted Charvis clearance.
Replacement hooker Mefin Davies gained his first cap for Wales in the dying seconds.
South Africa: B Russell; S Terblanche, M Joubert, D W Barry, B Paulse; A Pretorious, J Conradie; D Human, J Dalton, W Meyer, Q Davids, J Labushagne, C Krige, A J Venter B Skinstad (capt).
Yellow card: W Meyer (24).
Replacemnts: F Rautenbach for Venter (25-34) and for Meyer (51); C Davidson for Conradie (51); O le Roux for Human (59); J van Niekerk for Venter (64); H Louw for Davids (64).
Tries: Russell, Davidson.
Pens: Pretorious (3).
Wales: K Morgan; R Williams, M Taylor, A Marinos, C Morgan; S Jones, D Peel; I Thomas, R McBryde, B Evans, G Llewellyn, S Williams, M Owen, M Williams, C Charvis (capt).
Replacements: R Powell for Peel (11); T Shanklin for Marinos (6); Gavin Thomas for (M)Williams (68); R Sidoli for Llewellyn (71); N Jenkins for (C) Morgan (78); Mefin Davies for McBryde (78).
Referee: A Spreadbury (England).
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.