Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said he expected Wales to bounce back from their first Test mauling by the South Africans and produce an improved performance in the second Test in Pretoria on Saturday.
”I believe they’ll definitely be back because they’re much better than they were on Saturday,” De Villiers told reporters at a news conference on Monday.
”I think we were very lucky to score so many points, and I think we also benefited from the bounce of the ball on Saturday.”
World champions South Africa thrashed Wales 43-17 in the first Test in Bloemfontein.
Springbok captain John Smit, prop CJ van der Linde, loose forward Danie Rossouw and wing Tonderai Chavhanga will sit out Monday’s scheduled training session as a precautionary measure, De Villiers said.
Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde said the heavy defeat had left the Six Nations winners with plenty to ponder this week.
”It has very much been a time of soul-searching for us since the game, and the huge disappointment was that we were not able to apply all the hard work the guys did in our training camp and since we arrived here. I’ve never seen a team work as hard as this one did,” McBryde said.
”The important thing is the players are feeling a lot of hurt and pain because they realise they did not front up in Bloemfontein. It’s a battle of the gain line and we came off second best.”
Hooker Rhys Thomas, a replacement for Matthew Rees, who tore a calf muscle in the first Test, arrived in Centurion on Monday.
Wales are set to name their team on Tuesday. — Reuters