We are not far off – Faletau

Date published: November 23 2014

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau believes his team can recover from their loss to the All Blacks when they face South Africa next week.

Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau believes his team can recover from their loss to New Zealand when they take on South Africa next weekend.

The Welsh will be without loosehead Paul James, hooker Richard Hibbard and fly-half James Hook, who have all now returned to Premiership duty.

Warren Gatland is also sweating on the fitness of scrum-half Rhys Webb and wing George North, but Faletau is confident they can beat the Boks.

“It’s disappointing,” he told Press Association Sport about the defeat to New Zealand. “We were in the game until the latter stages, but just let it go.

“New Zealand got the luck of the bounce (for Beauden Barrett’s first try) and just went on from there. We couldn’t get the momentum back.

“The defensive effort was great, but New Zealand aren’t world champions for nothing and they showed their class. We fell off at the end of the game, and that is when a team like them takes advantage.

“It was a great effort by the boys – we left everything on the pitch – but we came up short and it’s disappointing to keep saying the same things over again.”

He added: “We are still optimistic for South Africa, especially if we play like we did against New Zealand.”

“To be in with a chance of winning the game with 10 minutes left against those guys (New Zealand), we have to take some credit for that.

“We were there or thereabouts until late on, and we have to take confidence from that.

“We are disappointed because we thought we could get something out of the game with New Zealand, but with a bit of luck it will go our way against South Africa.

“We should have won the game against them in the summer, but we lost because of our discipline. We are not far off, and we are confident that the result will go our way soon.”