Gerard Meagher at the Principality Stadium

Author's details

Name: Gerard Meagher at the Principality Stadium
Date registered: November 12, 2016
URL: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/wales-rugby-union-team

Latest posts

  1. Wales’ flawed win leaves South Africa’s Allister Coetzee carrying the can — November 27, 2016
  2. Wales and Tipuric boost Howley to leave South Africa and Coetzee gloomy — November 26, 2016
  3. Japan serve up warning to Wales in advance of South Africa challenge — November 20, 2016
  4. Wales are run close by inspired Japan before late Sam Davies drop goal — November 19, 2016
  5. Liam Williams supplies stirring remedy for woes afflicting Wales — November 13, 2016

Author's posts listings

Nov 27

Wales’ flawed win leaves South Africa’s Allister Coetzee carrying the can

• Wales 27-13 South Africa
• Springboks coach will almost certainly be sacked in December

The last time South Africa lost all their autumn Tests they at least went down swinging. A 50-point defeat by England in 2002 was brutal, nasty even, and left Clive Woodward irate at the injuries incurred by the Springboks’ strong-arm tactics. Today it is only the Springboks licking their wounds.

A record eighth defeat in a calendar year, and only the third in 110 years by Wales, has proved the final straw and the South African Rugby Union has promised root-and-branch reform. Allister Coetzee looks likely to lose his job after he reports to his employers in mid-December but to suggest the buck stops with him is risible. Political interference – it was the sports minister who labelled the Springboks “a bunch of losers” after the defeat by Japan last year – outdated domestic infrastructure and the ever increasing player drain renders this South Africa’s lowest ebb.

Related: Wales and Tipuric boost Howley to leave South Africa and Coetzee gloomy

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/27/wales-win-south-africa-allister-coetzee

Nov 26

Wales and Tipuric boost Howley to leave South Africa and Coetzee gloomy

• Wales 27-13 South Africa
• Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric score home side’s tries

It may go some way to earning Rob Howley the job permanently, but this was a victory for Wales straight out of the Warren Gatland playbook. All power and physicality, putting concerns of a lack of Welsh wizardry to one side, they fully warranted victory against a South Africa team at its lowest ebb.

Ken Owens and the excellent Justin Tipuric scored the tries, but Leigh Halfpenny was metronomic from the tee and a youthful South Africa so redundant throughout. It was not plain sailing for Wales – it never is these days – but it was their best performance of the autumn and while Howley now has the Six Nations to try to introduce some attacking nous, and advance his claim to take over from Gatland in 2019, the game may be up for Allister Coetzee.

Related: Keith Earls seals Ireland win over Australia to complete big-three sweep

Related: England and Owen Farrell dig deep to win 14-man battle with Argentina

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/26/wales-south-africa-autumn-internationals-match-report

Nov 20

Japan serve up warning to Wales in advance of South Africa challenge

• Wales 33-30 Japan
• Rob Howley will make important changes when Wales face Springboks

Considering the way both sides are playing, a scoreless draw does not seem altogether inconceivable when Wales host South Africa on Saturday. But assuming the trench warfare eventually relents, Rob Howley’s team will find themselves with a scarcely deserved opportunity to stumble into the record books.

No Welsh side has ever managed three wins from their autumn internationals in Cardiff and after Sam Davies’s last-gasp drop goal spared their blushes against Japan, the defence coach, Shaun Edwards, was quick to drum that into his players.

Related: Wales are run close by inspired Japan before late Sam Davies drop goal

Related: Wallabies question scrum tactics despite bruising win over France

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/20/japan-wales-south-africa-rob-howley

Nov 19

Wales are run close by inspired Japan before late Sam Davies drop goal

• Wales grind out 33-30 win over Brave Blossoms in Cardiff with draw looming
• Japan had drawn level moments earlier having out-performed their hosts

Lacking control, confidence and at times the slightest clue, Wales stumbled over the line thanks to a last-gasp drop goal from Sam Davies against an inspired Japan side that threatened another giant-killing on their return to British soil.

But for Davies’s late intervention and the unerring boot of Leigh Halfpenny, Wales were staring down the barrel of a draw against Japan – thoroughly deserved by their exhilarating visitors who produced the kind of speed and attacking accuracy of which Rob Howley’s side can only dream.

Related: England register record win against Fiji but defence is cause for concern

Related: Italy celebrate famous first win over sorry South Africa

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/19/wales-japan-autumn-internationals-match-report

Nov 13

Liam Williams supplies stirring remedy for woes afflicting Wales

Scarlets player immune from Welsh team-mates’ white-line fever – scoring an inspirational try and providing antidote to Argentina’s high balls

Wales may have ended their autumn blues against Argentina but there are few signs their white-line fever has been cured. Liam Williams seems to be only one immune – a bundle of energy on his return on Saturday – and you have to wonder where Wales would be without him.

It was his try against the disappointing Pumas, shortly after half-time, that finally gave Wales belief a run of five straight defeats could be ended, that their ears might stop ringing following their awful performance against Australia the week before. It was also Williams who carried the fight to New Zealand over the summer – always a counterattacking threat and immaculate under the high ball.

Related: Wales ring changes and end woeful run with narrow win over Argentina

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/13/wales-liam-williams-white-line-fever-argentina-try-rugby-union

Nov 12

Wales ring changes and end woeful run with narrow win over Argentina

• Wales 24-20 Argentina
• Liam Williams and Gareth Davies, two of six changes, score tries for Wales

A victory for Wales thanks to tries from a Williams and a Davies and owing much to the work of an Edwards but the current crop remain in the shadows of their forefathers. This win – after five straight defeats – was welcome, and an important one too, but based on a markedly improved defence rather than any great attacking invention.

Liam Williams and Gareth Davies, the two try-scorers, were two of the six changes Rob Howley made from last week’s mauling at the hands of Australia so the interim head coach deserves some praise but progress remains slow. Shaun Edwards will be pleased that Argentina were limited to just two tries considering Wales had shipped 26 in those five defeats but Nicolás Sánchez’s invention and goalkicking ensured the hosts only crept over the line. How times change. It was not long ago that Argentina were maligned for nine-man rugby and Wales lauded for their artistry.

Related: Scotland suffer agonising defeat as Bernard Foley kicks Australia to late win

Related: New Zealand bounce back from Ireland defeat with thrashing of Italy

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/nov/12/wales-argentina-autumn-internationals-match-report