Wales: Dan Biggar rues ‘missed opportunity’ to beat Springboks

Dylan Coetzee

Wales captain Dan Biggar believes their narrow 32-29 loss to the Springboks was a “missed opportunity”.

Springboks utility back Damian Willemse kicked a very late penalty to win South Africa the game after the hooter in a dramatic finish.

“Harsh” penalty

The first-half execution by Wales was excellent, and for the most part, the Springboks were poor but made an impressive comeback to win. However, Biggar believes the penalty decision at the end of the clash was “harsh”.

“I thought the penalty at the end was a little bit harsh. The ball has just hit my hand, as opposed to me slapping it down. It’s the way it is,” Biggar said.

“I don’t think anybody would have predicted the game would have worked out like that at midday today.

“The last thing I want to do is to come into a press conference and be brave losers. It was a definite missed opportunity.

“For us to put up a show in the first Test at altitude and against the world champions, there is no reason why we can’t get better next week.

“It is a Test match. We wanted to get in amongst it and not take a backward step. That is part of the game at the minute.

“If you stand off South Africa out here, you are going to get steam-rolled pretty quickly.

“I didn’t see any issue. They were as niggly and competitive as we were, but that was perfect for us – exactly what we wanted.

“That is exactly what you want from a Test match – you want it aggressive and abrasive. There was no dirty play. You shake hands afterwards and there is no issue.”

Blew the chance

Wales coach Wayne Pivac says his side had a good first half, but the four yellow cards cost the team the win.

“It’s hard playing the world champions in their backyard 15 on 15, isn’t it? I thought we made a pretty good fist of that,” Pivac said.

“We will have to go away and look at that, as we will always do. Four yellow cards is a pretty tough one to take, but that is how it panned out and unfortunately we didn’t quite get across the line.

“We set ourselves up to win the game, so we did a lot of very good things.

“South Africa will no doubt improve (in Bloemfontein), and hopefully we will improve. It sets itself up for a good second Test. You have got two teams that are highly-motivated.”

READ MORE: July internationals: Late Damian Willemse penalty breaks Wales hearts in thrilling Test