Boks ‘desperate’ for Wales scalp

John McFarland has brushed aside suggestions that Wales may want victory more than the Springboks this Saturday, reports JON CARDINELLI in Cardiff.

Under Warren Gatland, Wales have lost 26 out of 27 against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Welsh media climbed into Gatland following the most recent loss to the All Blacks, with some lamenting the same old mistakes and excuses. Wales have done nothing to shake their reputation as a 60-minute side that doesn’t have the composure or the belief to beat the big three.

Some of the locals, however, are more optimistic, and believe the pressure and desperation will drive Wales to a famous victory this weekend. Indeed, Gatland himself has said that if Wales perform as they did last week, they will beat the Boks.

On Tuesday, Bok defence coach John McFarland revealed that the Boks are just as desperate to win this match. South Africa hope to continue their winning run against Wales, as well as their excellent record in the northern hemisphere. This is the last opportunity to play in these conditions before the 2015 World Cup in England.

‘We don’t like to talk about losing, but this is the last match of our season, and seven months is a long time to stew over a loss,’ McFarland said.

‘We’re desperate to win this game. We learned a lot of harsh lessons following that loss to Ireland [in the first Test of the tour]. We have improved in the games against England and Italy, and now it’s time to finish the tour on a high.’

That loss to Ireland was the Boks’ first in the northern hemisphere since 2010. Meyer’s side went undefeated on their first two tours to Europe in 2012 and 2013.

Victory for Meyer’s Boks this Saturday will take their overall record in this part of the world to nine wins from 10 matches. They believe another win will see them taking momentum and confidence into the 2015 World Cup, which will be staged in similar conditions.

‘If you look at the past two tours, we have ended with some notable victories,’ said McFarland. ‘In 2012 we beat England at Twickenham, and then in 2013 we ended a 15-year drought when we beat France in Paris. We want to finish strongly once again.’

Photo: Sabelo Mngoma/BackpagePix

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Jon Cardinelli